ENTERTAINMENT

The Early 2000s Would've Been Nothing Without Jessica Simpson

Can we even remember a time when Jessica Simpson wasn't in our celebrity consciousness?

These days, you probably encounter her most in relation to her very cute clothing line and very cute children. But back in the 2000s, Simpson obviously rose to fame as a pop vocalist and celebreality TV show icon. 

In honor of the star's birthday on July 10, The Huffington Post took a look back at some of the most defining moments of the first era of Simpson's career. 

Take a walk down memory lane (and get some dope vintage tunes stuck in your head for the next like two weeks!!!).

Simpson breaks into the pop scene with hit single "I Wanna Love You Forever," 1999.

A classic throwback to Jessica's early innocent girl vibe. The song debuted in 1999, a wholly more innocent year of history that also included the release of "10 Things I Hate About You" and "Never Been Kissed." 

Simpson was only 19 at the time, which might make you rethink a lot of things. (Genetics are literally insane.)

Also, keep an eye out at the 0:25 mark for what we're 99 percent sure is an appearance by a very young Ashlee Simpson. 

The Simpson-Lachey fascination takes off with "Where You Are," 2000.

On the list of very important turn of millennia goings on, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey's romance ranks high.

Their early '00s chemistry is hard at work in this video, in which Simpson yearns for Lachey and imagines them walking around together near some trees. 

 The pair got together in 1999 and dated (with a brief break) until their marriage in 2002. They divorced in 2006. 

Jessica's Chicken of the Sea tuna fiasco sets the celebrity news world on fire, 2003.

The Simpson-Lachey marriage, of course, led to a very important TV show of our time: "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. The series gave the hungry public a little peek into their young domestic lives. The most famous scene of the show came in its very first episode, when Jessica gets confused about whether Chicken of the Sea tuna is tuna or chicken. The mistake blew up the celebrity news cycle and, we would argue, solidified Jessica's ditzy blonde public persona of the time. Watching the clip now, it seems so, so artificial. We obviously can't prove it, but we would guess a producer behind the wings knew viewers at home would be very entertained by a rich famous person getting mixed up about such a simple, everyday thing. ('Cause that was also, like, the premise of the show. Nick and Jessica are just like us!)

If it wasn't staged, whatever, who doesn't say dumb stuff sometimes? And also, why is Nick, who was supposed to be her loving husband at the time, being so rude about it? Those are our thoughts on that whole situation more than a decade after it was culturally relevant. "Can they live?" - sort of Kim Kardashian.

Back then, "SNL" hopped on the making-fun-of-the-mistake chain with a sketch in which Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake play Nick  Lachey and Jessica Simpson. So ... just a little reminder that that happened, and that the entertainment landscape looks very different in 2015. 

 

The "With You" music video happens, 2003.

And now, one of the most brilliant music videos we've ever seen.

We can't say we know exactly where we were as a culture when this video came out. But our instinct tells us people were not severely concerned that it features Simpson washing dishes in a sudsy sink, lying on the ground putting lacy underwear on her head, lounging in a jersey 'cause she's just a sporty kind of gal, eating RIBS very MESSILY and trying to hit golf balls with her boobs literally getting in the way. (For context about Internet discussion of bogus gender stuff, the video came out in 2003. Jezebel didn't launch until 2007.)

This video demonstrates Simpson's Marilyn Monroe-level skill of playing into the character her audience so obviously wanted her to be (did you catch her playfully eating the Chicken of the Sea tuna?). If after watching this you really think Simpson wasn't in control of herself vs. sexy American girl image, I am giving you some side eye.

Jessica cries (wearing goggles after eye surgery) while watching Ashlee Simpson perform "Shadow" on "The Ashlee Simpson Show," 2004.

According to scientists*, it is impossible to not cry while listening to this song.

Whatever publicist crafted the younger Simpson's alt image should truly win publicist award of the past two decades.

*jk didn't ask any scientists.

Jessica stars in "Dukes of Hazzard," 2005.

The world lost its sh-t about the daisy dukes.

In conclusion, remember when low waist jeans were a thing? 

Happy birthday, Jessica! 

PHOTO GALLERY
Jessica Simpson Through the Years

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