Liveblogging The Price of Beauty, India Edition

Mini-recap: All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this episode. While I wish that Jessica and her friends would stop describing every unfamiliar thing as “weird” or “freaky”, it was obvious that they were genuinely moved by Meena’s plight. Good on them for raising awareness of cleft palates. The condition is relatively easy to fix if the patient has access to proper medical care. I forgot to mention this below, but Meena was apparently raised by her grandmother from birth because her biological parents felt that they couldn’t handle raising a disabled child. I hope that she’ll be reunited with her entire family once again and will have access to the therapy and schooling that she will now need.

Live blog below:

10:32: Jessica Simpson’s Smile Ambassador page on the Operation Smile website is here.

10:31: Operation Smile’s official Twitter feed just sent out the following: “Meena you are beautiful inside and out! To help children like Meena, share your Smile for Smiles at & VH1 will donate $1.”

10:29: And that’s it! Did they cut the cow urine scene?

10:28: : Ken says that “India has been like a jewel box to us.” Jessica arrives to the Bollywood party in a carriage carried by four men.

10:25: Jessica’s henna artist decides on a design consisting of an elephant playing a trumpet.

10:23: VH1 just ran a commercial promoting Operation Smile. Also says that they will donate one dollar for every photo uploaded to this site.

10:22: Good deed done, Simpson and her friends will get ready for a Bollywood party after the commercial break.

10:22: Remarkably, the surgery only takes 45 minutes. The child’s face is completely transformed. Visit Operation Smile’s website for more info on cleft palate surgery.

10:20: Meena is going in for her surgery to repair her cleft palate.

10:18: Jessica says one out of every 500 Indian children is born with a cleft palate, the highest rate in the world. Jessica has been an ambassador for Operation Smile for years.

10:17: Via Ken Paves’ Twitter feed (Paves is Jessica’s bestie and hairdresser who has accompanied her) a photo of Meena, a little girl with a cleft palate (photo is post-surgery). See it here.

10:11: This is gross. The trio learns how to use Neti-pots and then tries a digestive tea at a Ayurvedic clinic. Lots of burping.

10:09 “I love India, the people are so happy and sincere.” – Jessica. Yuck!

10:06: By the way, all of the yogis were subtitled.

10:05: They are off to laughter yoga. Ken thinks the laughter yogis “have the most beautiful eyes in the world, CaCee thinks the whole thing is “kind of freaky.”

10:04: J-Simps is learning Bollywood dancing!

10:01 Wait, what channel is VH1 again? (Haven’t watched regularly since the mid-1990s.)

More on The Price of Beauty

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.

Jessica Simpson’s “The Price of Beauty” Premieres Tonight

Jessica Simpson returns to the world of reality television tonight with the premiere of her documentary series The Price of Beauty (VH1, 10pm EST/PST).

Over the course of the series, Simpson and her two best friends (Ken Paves and CaCee Cobb) visit various countries and sample local beauty rituals. The trio traveled to India for the episode scheduled to air on March 29th.

Wondering what beauty treatments Simpson learned about during her trip to the second largest country in the world?

I’ll let the gossip blog “Entertainment and Showbiz” answer that:

Monster and Critics reports that Jessica Simpson has been paying “The Price of Beauty” to certain high level that surely makes us feel like puking! As per reports, Jessica has been offered to drink distilled cow urine in the television show. She is given a bottle of “Distilled Cow Urine” in India which has shocked her to the core.

Jessica is told that cow urine is a detoxifying drink! But drinking excreta? Horrible…and yukkks!

This series also sounds “horrible and yukkks!” Despite that, expect a live blog during the India episode when it airs on the 29th.