Advertisements for Jessica Simpson’s The Price of Beauty have been papering the Long Island Rail Road of late. Here’s a closeup of the poster I sat next to yesterday:
I caught a bit of the show’s premiere when it aired two weeks ago, and it was pretty much what I had expected, lots of focus on Simpson’s reactions to “weird” foreign traditions and no analysis of anything at all.
The India-themed episode airs on Monday and the show’s official website has published this summary (all emphasis mine):
This episode takes Jessica, Ken and CaCee to Mumbai, India. They meet Neha, their beauty ambassador at a bustling Bollywood studio where they not only learn about Indian beauty treatments, but also test their dancing skills at a real Bollywood dance audition. Heeding Neha’s advice, Jessica checks out some local Mumbai yoga, however this is not your typical yoga class…it’s laughter yoga! Jessica, Ken and CaCee giggle and guffaw their way to a younger state of mind. Feeling younger, the cast decides to embark on looking younger. They head off to an ayurvedic spa where the meaning of “exotic beauty treatment” gets pushed to new limits…drinking cow urine and snorting water through a netti-pot leave the cast gagging and giggling!
Being an ambassador for Operation Smile, Jessica decides to meet and help Meena, one of the many kids in India suffering from a cleft palette. Jessica, Ken and CaCee hold Mena’s hand while surgeons transform her appearance and her life! Finally the cast undergoes a total transformation…donning henna tattoos and ornate sari’s, they celebrate their new appreciation of vibrant colors and self expression at a huge red carpet Bollywood party.
In addition to the cloying tone, the synopsis also begs to be copy edited. Is the girl’s name Meena or Mena? (My guess is Meena.) Why is neti pot spelled with two Ts? And it’s saris not sari’s.
It’s also interesting that in a country of over a billion people, Simpson and her friends interact with two women who have names that are very easy for Westerners to pronounce. But kudos to Simpson for promoting Operation Smile and raising awareness about cleft palates.