“To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.” I was around seven or eight years old when my mother's best friend at the time came over to the house for a visit from North Carolina. She embraced my mom lifting her up in the air and gave me a big warm hug and a kiss on each cheek. It was at that time when Rene (my mother’s friend) told me that I was lighter than the color of healthy urine. At the time, I wasn't sure what she meant but that wasn't the first or last reference to my complexion from her that weekend. It was, however, the most disturbing of her insulting commentary on my skin tone. That evening shortly after dinner, Rene said I was so very light skinned that I resembled a bottle of pledge or a three foot banana when it is nice and ripe for peeling. That was another perplexing comment to me at that age. Am I the color of piss, pledge or bananas? Why was she making reference to my skin tone so often? I asked myself. I laughed at the time because I thought it was a funny thing to say because to refer to me as a big banana sounded innocent.
In VH1's Price of Beauty, a documentary-like reality series, Jessica Simpson travels around the world to explore global beauty and self esteem issues. Simpson ends up finding that despite the different standards of beauty around the world, they are all standards that know one should HAVE to live by. The documentary is conflicting in certain areas but this may be in large part, to Simpson, not wanting to speak how she feels about another culture's standards of beauty. Her overall intentions are good and helpful, which is the most important aspect of it all. Jessica embarks on this journey with two of her best friends, Ken Paves (also, her hairstylist) and Cacee Cobb, and challenges the very mindset that criticized her weight on the cover of tabloids all across America. If anyone can relate to being on the receiving end of criticism, it would be Jessica Simpson. This show is sure to resonate with women all across America and beyond as we already know that she's been there and she is not trying to understand - she truly does understand.