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Jessica Simpson, 43, shares 'unrecognizable' photo taken before she got sober

The Dukes of Hazzard star is a mom of three

Jessica Simpson seen out and about in Manhattan on  February 5, 2020 in New York City
Faye James
Faye JamesSenior Editor
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Jessica Simpson took a moment for reflection as she revisited a chapter of her past on Instagram. 

The singer and actress, known for her hits like "Take My Breath Away" and her role in "The Dukes of Hazzard," shared a throwback photo of herself that she described as 'unrecognizable' from six years prior, indicating a time in her life marked by personal struggle.

The image, which first made its appearance on her social media in 2021, was accompanied by a message that captured her determination and self-realization at the time. “6 years ago,” Jessica noted, marking the time since the photo was taken. 

It was 2017 when Jessica decided to embark on a journey toward sobriety, a transformative period she openly discusses in her memoir, "Open Book."

Jessica Simpson six years ago© Instagram
Jessica Simpson six years ago

The photograph in question depicts Jessica in a pink tracksuit, seated in a dimly lit room—a stark contrast to her typically vibrant public persona. 

"This person in the early morning of Nov 1, 2017 is an unrecognizable version of myself," she originally captioned the image. 

In her caption, Jessica delved into the self-discovery that lay ahead of her, recognizing the need to reclaim her 'light' and triumph over the internal conflict that plagued her sense of self-respect.

Jessica Simpson attends the Jessica Simpson Collection Presentation Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week on September 9, 2015 in New York City.© Getty Images
Jessica Simpson attends the Jessica Simpson Collection Presentation Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week on September 9, 2015 in New York City.

The journey wasn't just about abstaining from alcohol; it was about confronting and embracing the pain. 

"I wanted to feel the pain so I could carry it like a badge of honor," she explained. Her goal was to evolve as a leader, to break the cycles that held her back and to live without the shadows of regret and remorse.

Jessica Simpson channels Barbie in pink dress
She is the perfect Barbie!

Now, four years into her sober life, Jessica reflects on the weight of labels such as 'alcoholic' and the true nature of her struggle."

The drinking wasn't the issue. I was," she admits, acknowledging her past inability to love and respect herself. Today, she stands in her truth, recognizing her fears, accepting her life's sorrows, and embracing her personal power with what she describes as "soulful courage."

Her memoir details the gravity of her former lifestyle, revealing: "I was killing myself with all the drinking and pills." Letting go of alcohol, a substance that enabled her complacency, was an easier step for Jessica compared to the rigors of therapy, where she confronted the traumas she had experienced.

jessica simpson weight loss bikini photo© Instagram
Jessica Simpson has lost 100lbs since 2019

This moment of candid honesty comes on the heels of recent headlines where Jessica denied using the weight loss drug Ozempic, attributing her impressive 100-pound weight loss to pure willpower and the significant lifestyle change of cutting out alcohol.

 Speaking with Bustle in July, she firmly insisted her transformation was not drug-induced but rather the result of her own determination, emphasizing the impact that quitting alcohol had on her physical well-being.

Jessica's journey with body image has been as public as it has been personal, spanning a spectrum from a size 0 to a size 12—experienced during her pregnancy. She considers herself fortunate to have inhabited such a range, providing her a unique empathy for her clothing brand's clientele and contributing to her own self-understanding.

jessica simpson brown dress posing doorway© Instagram
Jessica feels healthier than ever

Despite the cruel barbs of public commentary on her appearance, Jessica remains resilient, though not immune to the pain such remarks can inflict. She confided to an interviewer that while the negativity can be hurtful, she is now too grounded in her self-connection to be derailed by it.

In an August conversation with Access Hollywood, Jessica expressed her bafflement over the ongoing public discourse about her weight, deeming it an unnecessary topic of conversation. 

She has previously discussed the pressure of maintaining the 'gold standard' for her body, an ideal sparked by her iconic role in "The Dukes of Hazzard," and the challenging dynamics of yo-yo dieting and over-exercising.

Today, Jessica celebrates her body's story, including the remarkable transformation after her pregnancy with her youngest daughter, Birdie Mae, where she reached a weight of 260 pounds. 

Alongside her husband, Eric, and their three children—Maxwell, Ace, and Birdie—Jessica continues to navigate her multifaceted life with a newfound appreciation for her strength, both internal and physical.

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