By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated August 18, 2003 01:00 PM

Recently married couple Jessica Simpson (the singer) and her husband, Nick Lachey (of 98 Degrees fame), are ready for their collective close-up with their new MTV reality series “The Newlyweds.”

For the past four months, the bride, 23, and groom, 29, allowed camera crews unlimited access to their five-bedroom estate in Calabasas, Calif. — well, except to their master bedroom, the pair tells New York’s Daily News.

“We would fight almost every day, sometimes three or four times,” Simpson said, as the two snuggled on the sofa in their eggshell-white living room. “I would think any newly married couple does.”

Their first year of wedded bliss premieres on the network Tuesday, the same day Simpson’s new CD, “In This Skin,” hits record stores.

As for the album, Simpson says the title track is “about being worthy to feel beautiful in your own skin. On my last record, I weighed, like, 102 lbs., and I was still told that I needed to be smaller.

“You hear that stuff all the time, and that’s what the song is about,” she added. “You gotta just love yourself for you who you are.”

And Lachey loves her, too, blond moments and all — though he reportedly has some things to say about their first camping trip together, at Yosemite National Forest.

One item he says she couldn’t live without: Her $1,700 Louis Vuitton purse, which had to go into a bear-proof bin at night.

Said Lachey of the overall experience, “It was like cultures colliding!”