When you hear the name Jessica Simpson, many people think of her ditzy moments on the MTV reality show, Newlyweds.
But if you ask me, who cares if it was chicken or fish?
Jessica Simpson is not the dumb blonde that society paints her to be. Her true fans know that she is an incredibly talented singer, business mogul, and now author, who has been through hell and back.
On a recent international flight to Argentina, I decided to purchase her memoir, Open Book, on Audible. Admittedly, I thought it would be something to turn on while I tried to doze off during my red eye.
Boy, was I wrong. Jessica’s story demanded my attention while everyone around me was in a deep sleep. My respect and admiration for her grew as she narrated every word.
Jessica Simpson: Living Her Truth
When publishers approached Jessica Simpson about a book deal, they wanted her to write self-help on how to achieve the perfect life. I can understand why — this woman has it all.
She’s beautiful, talented, and successful. Her fashion line, the Jessica Simpson collection, is a billion dollar brand. She lives in a sprawling 11,000 square foot mansion outside Los Angeles with her hunky husband, former NFL star, Eric Johnson, and their three beautiful children.
Who wouldn’t want her glamorous life?
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But Jessica declined to write a book on these terms. Despite what her image or the media may suggest, she knew her life was far from perfect. She instead chose to write a memoir, which bravely details some of her most personal struggles.
We all know Jessica went through a very public divorce from her ex-husband Nick Lachey, back in 2006. But a failed marriage just scratches the surface on the challenges Jessica has overcome.
As I listened to Jessica read her story to me, I could hear the intense emotion in her voice as she described her experiences with loss, sexual abuse, alcoholism, public scrutiny, body image issues, infertility and so much more.
Since its release, Open Book has already been named a New York Times #1 bestseller.
How Jessica Simpson Represents Authenticity
I gained more than I thought I would when reading Open Book. Jessica transparently shares powerful messages of hope, empowerment, and resilience that I will keep with me. But beyond the lessons from her personal stories, I also learned from her process and approach to writing a book in the first place.
I dug a little deeper and found an interesting intersection. We can apply lessons from Open Book to life in general, but also to our online presence.
In the marketing and social media field, we always hear the term “authenticity.” This speaks to presenting your true self with your audience, rather than portraying a facade.
Jessica Simpson exemplifies authenticity. Like the title, “Open Book,” suggests, she lets herself be vulnerable in her memoir. She bravely puts everything out there, with no topic too personal or humiliating to address.
Whether you simply want to improve your mental health or find the courage to share more of who you are online, there are many takeaways inspired by Jessica Simpson and Open Book:
Keep a journal.
When Jessica was fifteen, her cousin Sarah died tragically in a car accident. To cope with the pain, she started journaling, and has kept up with the habit ever since. Her journal has not only provided mental clarity through life’s obstacles, but serves as a creative outlet. From new music, to the chapters in her memoir, it’s safe to say that Jessica’s ideas begin in her journal.
Start journaling for yourself and you’ll be surprised how often inspiration strikes.
Don’t try to be perfect.
In the world of Photoshop, filters, and lavish lifestyle content on Instagram, it seems like everyone is living their best life without any bumps in the road. This just isn’t the case, not even for Jessica Simpson.
Sharing your true self — the good, the bad, and the ugly — will undoubtedly build a bond with your audience. They’ll see you as someone who is just like them.
Create content fearlessly.
With a net worth of $200 million, Jessica Simpson could live happily ever after without publishing a memoir. She could’ve kept her life lessons and emotions private, but she instead chose to put them out there into the world for other people to hear.
You never know who will resonate with your story. Resist hesitation, overcome imposter syndrome, and just hit post. Someone will read your content and thank you.
Mute the critics.
I can’t imagine having my every move published in the tabloids like Jessica has, or being constantly followed by paparazzi. Even the everyday moments of her marriage were filmed for reality television. Every choice she made, outfit she wore, or song she sang, was met with criticism and harsh opinions from around the world.
But Jessica did not let her critics define her. Despite being labeled as a dumb blonde pop star, Jessica pressed onward and has built a billion-dollar fashion empire that is still growing. And now, she gets to add “best-selling author” to her list of career milestones.
It’s easy to let naysayers fill our heads with paralyzing self-doubt. Instead, use their comments or your own fear as motivation to keep building.
Turn setbacks into comebacks.
With all that was going on in her life, Jessica took a hiatus from the spotlight for a few years. Hey, everyone needs a break! But she didn’t retire from music altogether. Despite public breakups, fertility issues, addiction struggles, and other hardships, Jessica bounced back and is thriving in her both her career and family life.
Rather than letting challenges hold you back, learn from them use those lessons as fuel to pursue whatever goals are on your heart.
Channel your emotions to make art.
Like Jessica, you can pour your emotions into your craft. For her it was songwriting, but for you, this may apply to your passion for blogging, photography, cooking, crafting, or even make-up. Not to mention, going all-in on a creative endeavor that you love will help you find peace, master new skills, and build a community.
Open Book will Open Your Mind
It may not always seem this way from the outside looking in, but many times, some of the world’s biggest stars are just like us. None of us are perfect, and we all have our own battles to fight. Even multi-millionaire, Jessica Simpson.
Social media tends to be a highlight reel, and if we let it, a place for toxic comparison. But when you open your heart and share your true stories and experiences with others, the real magic happens. You will connect with your friends and followers on a deeper level, and create lasting relationships that can help you get through anything.
I hope Jessica Simpson, her book, and this post inspires you to throw caution to the wind and feel empowered to share your true self. With every photo you post, blog entry you write, or video you publish, never be afraid to show the world who you really are.
READ MORE: How to Market Yourself Like Elle Woods