Either that or they used an file photo, circa 2001. But most likely it's just airbrushing. Only InTouch or Star would actually try to pass off an older picture (as we saw with their recent, outstanding Britney Spears efforts).
Seriously, the last time Jessica Simpson looked like this, she was married to (and cheating on) Nick Lachey while confusing meat products on reality TV. And what's with the plaid? We get it, she "country" now. Yawn.
If the HUGE text covering most of her body were supposed to distract us, you failed, Elle! A word to the wise: Quit wasting your time on this hack and just give us Marisa Miller or someone like that next time, K? Cool.
Jessica Simpson graces the new cover of Elle. We have no clue why.