Vanity Fair presents a brutally honest feature on Jessica Simpson in their June 2009 issue, covering every controversy of the pop star's last decade in the media spotlight. The magazine defines Simpson's popularity as at "the crossroads of Obscurity and Re-invention".
The feature finds more entertainment in Jessica's personal troubles than her music career. I would say the article is a personality profile, since the journalist interviewing Simpson exposes more about the celebrity apart from her music. He inflects his own opinion of her so the reader is better able to understand Simpson as a person--not performer.
The surprise of the feature is that for the most part, it is largely unflattering to Simpson's credit as a singer or a human being. Everything from her weight, dating life, and a failed movie career are targets to criticism.
Simpson acknowledges that she feared her personal life was outshining her career. Tommy Mattola, head of Sony Music, advised Simpson to take a new direction.
"I think she absolutely needs to re-invent herself," said Mottola.
Mattola was first to sign Simpson to a major-label record deal. Since then she's taken his advice and the former pop princess embraced her inner Texan when she released her first country album last April.
But the album release couldn't hide the "danger signs" that Simpson's star could be burning out. The singer's album sales have been decreasing since 2003. Simpson acknowledged she has always been fighting to compete with the top female pop stars, calling herself the "Hardeez" of the industry in comparison to big name "Burger King" Britney.
The feature is most interesting perhaps in the information it lacks. It makes little mention of why Simpson merits her own profile. There is mention of her recent album, but that's overshadowed by the constant criticism of her failures. The journalist finds Simpson's pretty face and personal life more interesting than her music, and isn't shy to say it's why she appeals to the reader, too.