Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jessica Simpson's The Price of Beauty: Why We Wax

Welcome back to Jessica Simpson's The Price of Beauty. This is the show where we've been following Jessica Simpson on a paid vacation around the world so that she can try on costumes and get her back rubbed under the guise of searching for different interpretations of beauty. It's been rather disappointing despite an interesting concept, but she's wrapping up her travels tonight in Brazil. Let's see what she finds out!

Brazilian vikings wear feathers instead of horns.

As the beauty crew rides along the beach they notice that everybody, regardless of size or shape, is in a very tiny bathing suit and seems proud of it. I noticed this same phenomenon in Europe. I think it may be American to be inherently ashamed of how you look.

Work it sista!

Jessica mentions that the first thing she thinks of when she hears "Brazil" is a bikini wax. As such, she would like Ken to have one. Apparently she and CaCee are good to go. I have to say at this juncture that Ken seems like a good sport and a good pal. He's down to try everything and he's usually in a good mood. Of course, he's paid to be Jessica's buddy, so who knows how much of this is genuine, but in any case, he gets in his undies and lets the Brazilian lady wax his privates - or at least the surrounding regions. Ken screams like a banshee through the entire thing. Aw, buck up! This is what it takes to be a lady.

Try a REAL Brazilian before crying your eyes out. This is nothing.

And now that Ken can unabashedly don a thong speedo it's time to hit the beach and meet our Beauty Ambassador. Her name is Ana Paula something and she is a Brazilian swimsuit model who has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Well, this should teach us a whole new way of thinking about what's beautiful... or not at all. She looks like an Amazon goddess and she's of course wearing dental floss.

Minty dental floss.

As they all sit down to chat under a beach umbrella I notice that Jessica's hair is about 10 inches longer than it was last week. That's Ken earning his keep, I suppose.

"It was like this when I woke up this morning."

Anyhoo, Ana Paula tells us that people in Brazil are very proud of their bodies and very open about showing them off, no matter how they look. I love cultures that embrace life like this and aren't afraid to let loose. Life is too short to cry about your body every day. She goes on to say, however, that women feel a lot of pressure to look perfect and so plastic surgery is very common and very out in the open. Apparently Rio is one of the plastic surgery capitals of the world. And here the women are proud to show you the results of their procedures, where in America, most women like to pretend they were just born that way. Heidi Montag would fit in well down here.

Speaking of Heidi Montag, Ana Paula has a friend who has had 42 plastic surgery procedures and she's here to tell the gang all about it! Her name is Angela and at first glance Jessica says that she maybe looks like she's had five or six procedures, not 42. Ha! Wouldn't the goal be to look like you haven't had any? Maybe not in Brazil. As Angela begins to list off all the work she's had done, we get a little pop-up that says she's been married to two plastic surgeons. That's genius! Heidi, take notes. You could nip and tuck to your heart's content with such strategic marrying.

It looks like Angela could use a head enlargement.

Personally, I think Angela looks a little busted. Her face looks like a guy and her boobs look like cysts. She's nice and tan, though, and looks very tight, so there you have it. She's also very careful to point out that her butt is natural - as butt implants are one of the most popular things to get around here. That's hilarious! I thought Latina women were naturally blessed in the buttocks region, but I guess the quest for perfection never ends. The finale of Angela's recitation is to proudly show the group a bare boob, stating that she's changed the silicone four times. Ken proves he's totally gay by responding to the boob with the observation that Angela hasn't shaved her legs.

With all the wax in Brazil?

And here is another fascinating Brazilian tidbit: Women here bleach the hair on their legs instead of shaving it. And this process is called a golden shower. Hee! I giggle right along with Jessica and CaCee at this news. This was like at my job as an event planner when I learned of a company that gives sweet parties for brides-to-be, called Chocolate Showers. My colleagues couldn't figure out why I snickered every time that company was mentioned. Yes I have a 12-year-old boy's sense of humor. Back to Brazil! The hairy legs are also interesting given the popularity of the Brazilian bikini wax. Why not just keep on waxing? Or just bleach everything? Who knows the reasoning for what goes on in South America?

The final question for Angela is what is her idea of beauty? She answers that she likes being able to look in the mirror, pick out what's wrong, and get it fixed. Yikes. The problem with that is won't there always be something to fix? Eventually you just have to deal with what you've got. I would think that's a much healthier (and cheaper) way to live life.

Now Ana Paula wants the gang to meet a woman who HASN'T been married to two plastic surgeons. In fact, she's very poor and lives in a favela, which is an impoverished community in Brazil. But despite having a child to care for, this woman made her looks - including plastic surgery - her top priority.

The stripes indicate that she's a prisoner to her vanity.

The gang asks her about her beauty routine. Well, she gets mani-pedis every week and bleaches her hair and eyebrows every 15 days. 15 days!? Wait, there's more. There are doctors who come to the favelas to offer plastic surgery at discounted rates for people who are in poverty (that seems terribly greedy - to tempt poor people with discounted optional surgery). This lady took advantage of that and used the money she had been saving to move herself and her daughter into a better apartment on a boob job. Okay now that I don't understand. To rank boobs above a better place to raise your daughter? I can't get my mind around it. She also says that when her daughter gets older she'll encourage her to get plastic surgery if she wants it. There's a lot of pressure on women to be beautiful. Apparently there's not a lot of pressure on women to be sensible.

Later our beauty crew would like to participate in Carnival, which is like Mardi Gras, except with less clothing. There's one every Halloween in West Hollywood as well - it's incredible. Ana Paula is back shaking her money maker in very little clothing and very many feathers.

"Why are you guys still wearing so much?"

She introduces the man who has made a wide array of Carnival costumes and I'm immediately sensing a love connection for Ken. Can we take time out from the Price of Beauty to explore a romance? Evidently not. Not even for everyone's pal Ken.

"Care to join me in the dressing room?"

It's off to Samba lessons. I saw this dance on So You Think You Can Dance. It's amazing how much culture you can glean without ever leaving the couch. Apparently it's not allowed to wear very much while you are dancing Samba (or any other time in Brazil), so we are treated to lots and lots of jiggling. Jessica says the Samba is all about making your booty clap. I would imagine that butt implants would come in handy for this. I like that the Samba girls are very curvy. Ken likes that he's learning to shake his stuff in front of a hot guy. He wiggles around with the best of them. Jess and CaCee are more awkward.

"So is it 1, 3, 2, or 2, 3, 1?"

Ken says that the Samba girls were letting it all go and he's never seen women in America shake like that. Uh, have you ever been to a nightclub in Hollywood?

It's time to put together everything we've learned in Brazil and emerge in a very elaborate costume that covers hardly anything and shake what our mamas gave us! Jessica claims to be timid. Oh stop. You're appearing on your second reality show, you can't be that bashful. Off with your clothes! There is an entire marching band to ring in everyone's entrance one at a time. CaCee is first and she just walks down the middle of the band as if it's a Tuesday afternoon. Next, however, is Ken and he is practically vibrating.

I think his loincloth is an homage to his lost hair.

Good for him for embracing the moment. Is the costume guy watching? Jessica comes out dressed as Big Bird and does about as well as CaCee - meaning she looks as excited as she would be in line to get a coffee.

"I'll have a double caramel macchiato."

Ken describes Jessica as dancing Samba looking truly uninhibited, but I must have missed that part. I didn't miss several booties shaking right in the camera, though.

And that wraps up our time in Brazil! Next week Jessica is going to culminate her travels by visiting a high school in Los Angeles and talking to girls about how they feel about themselves.

And remember the lady in Thailand who had accidentally bleached all the pigment off her face? Well she's in LA for the "makeover of a lifetime." Thanks Ken!

Well guys, what do you think? Is anyone even still watching? If so I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

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