Nicole Richie has come a long way since she first emerged in the limelight as then-national punching bag Paris Hilton's best friend on The Simple Life. Thanks to her acclaimed personal style and the launch of her own accessories brand, House of Harlow 1960, her reality show notoriety transformed into a kind of (more legitimate/respectable) fashion celebrity. Richie stopped getting DUIs and started getting married, started businesses, having babies — everything our society expects of mature and responsible adults.
Together with these more conventional strides towards maturity, she also built a strong (sorry this is such an icky way of putting it) personal brand. Richie has captured the attention of her over four million Twitter followers and remained relevant longer than anyone expected by being funny. So funny, in fact, that now she's even launched a web series based on being funny on Twitter. It boggles the mind what celebrities are allowed to do.
#CandidlyNicole is made up of five minute sketch episodes (so far only two have been released) which riff on her most popular Tweets. The first episode, titled "Tramp Stamps," elaborates on a wildly successful post she made in November of last year:
Woke up feeling really good about myself, until I remembered I have a tramp stamp.
— Nicole Richie (@nicolerichie) November 8, 2012
Back in the early-mid 2000s, when Richie was a newly-minted celebrity, the tramp stamp was ubiquitous both as a fad and a punchline about hyper-sexualized and groomed young women with bad taste; Richie was a voice of that generation. Now she's in on the joke, but still making herself the butt of it.
Self-deprecation reads as a kind of sincerity and I bet many people (but especially women), tramp-stamped or otherwise, can relate to what it feels like to suddenly remember something shameful. That you can wake up in the morning, stained (in Richie's case, it's a literal ink mark on her body) — somehow degraded in the eyes of others. Yes, "tramp stamp" is a very funny phrase, but it's also a derogatory one, targeting women who display their bodies to seek approval from men … which is of course what plenty of social cues suggest that women are supposed to do in the first place. I'm just saying all this because I think there can be a temptation to dismiss someone like Nicole Richie as frivolous or unimportant. Resist it; it's sexism.
"Today I am going to check out the process of getting my tramp stamp removed," she says in the debut episode of #CandidlyNicole. "It just…means a certain thing and I don't want to be a part of that group."
Guess what? (Spoiler!) In the end, she doesn't even go through with the procedure.
Watch it here (Big Brother fans: Dr. Will Kirby alert!):
Image via Instagram