Image via JStone / Shutterstock.com
On 6 May, the first Monday of May when the Met Gala would typically be held, Vogue.com published an oral history of the annual event to make up for it being postponed to October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The piece was a compilation of reflections from producers, staff members, and famous guests who had experienced the ball.
Jessica Simpson’s name was brought up by former Vogue creative digital director Sally Singer, who she felt had unsolicitedly placed her in a racy light.
Singer’s encounter with Simpson was from the 2007 Met Gala, when Simpson had attended the event in a plunging Roberto Cavalli gown alongside her then-boyfriend John Mayer. The former creative digital director recounted, “Her breasts maybe fell out of her dress on the red carpet… and then at dinner, it was suddenly like, whoa, Jessica Simpson’s breasts are across from me at the dinner table and they are on a platter and I’m looking at them.”
Singer elaborated that Mayer had then placed his hands on Simpson’s chest at the table. “He kind of reached down and I just remember thinking, ‘Oh, celebrities, feel free to play here. That’s what’s going on.’”
Outraged, the star took to social media to address the piece where she was “body-shamed” by the former Vogue creative digital director, using a 1957 photo of Jayne Mansfield being seemingly ogled at by Sophia Loren to illustrate her predicament.
“Feeling a little like Jayne Mansfield after reading this (inaccurate!) oral history of the #MetBall where I am body-shamed by #SallySinger,” Simpson wrote.
The singer and actress said she had “persevered through shaming my own body and internalizing the world’s opinions about it for my entire adult life.” She also expressed her disbelief that a “much-anticipated article about the classiest fashion event” published in 2020 would include an excerpt about her being “shamed by another woman for having boobs.”
The magazine has since apologized for the excerpt. “We are sorry that Jessica felt body-shamed by the anecdote in our Met piece,” Vogue.com wrote in a statement via CNN. The publication said it was never its intention to objectify the star, “but we understand her reaction and we apologize for including it.”
As of the time of publishing, the criticized anecdote can still be seen in the article.
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Feeling a little like Jayne Mansfield after reading this (inaccurate!) oral history of the #MetBall where I am body shamed by #SallySinger (https://www.vogue.com/article/the-complete-met-gala-oral-history) ...But in all seriousness I have persevered through shaming my own body and internalizing the world’s opinions about it for my entire adult life. To read this much anticipated article about the classiest fashion event there is and have to be shamed by another woman for having boobs in 2020 is nauseating.
Jessica Simpson responds to this quite toxic Vogue quote from Sally Singer which body shames her and her Met outfit.
If a 'creative director' can judge another woman in such a regressive way - it says a lot about Vogue's vision and representations of women in fashion media pic.twitter.com/3D6GpYLYA3
[via CNN, cover image via JStone / Shutterstock.com]