Jessica Simpson Has Made a New Fan
I've never really been a fan of Jessica Simpson. Sure, I've seen her on her old reality show back in the day when she was married to Nick Lachey. Remember that? They were kind of cute... Was that really almost ten years ago??
Since then, though, I haven't really paid too much attention to her...until recently.
As you probably know by now, Jessica Simpson gave birth to her adorable baby girl on May 1st of this year. Throughout her pregnancy, she was under intense scrutiny because of the fact that she had gained more weight that what is normally acceptable by Hollywood's standards...meaning she gained more than ten pounds.
It's actually reported that she gained anywhere between 60-90 pounds...and she's 5'3. That's no easy task my friends especially on such a small frame.
Now I belong to a private message board with wonderful supportive women and mommies from all over this nation and Jessica Simpson was indeed the topic of discussion from time to time during her (what seemed like forever) pregnancy. So I particapated in the discussions about the weight gain, that fashion sense, or fashion choices that may have not been as flattering as they could have...the blue baby shower dress, anyone? And I have to say that seeing those last photos of her right before she gave birth didn't make me scowl, or hiss, or boo, or judge, or even shout "OMG look how big she is!!" But it made me sympathize...and it made me relate to her.
You see, I have two children. I have a four year old and a three month old. I was actually due with my second child about a month after Jessica Simpson gave birth. Seeing those photos of her late in the pregnancy all smiling and ecstatic and pregnant and swollen made me realize something about her. She's not your typical Hollywood attention seeking starlet.
She was real and accessible... she was like me.
I gained 80 pounds with my first pregnancy. I went from a size 6 to a size 16. My feet were so swollen towards the end that they looked like angry sausages threatening to break free from their casings. I thought I would explode. But I'm not under the constant surveillance of hollywood gossip mongers. I didn't have to read the disgusting comments that people made or thought regarding my weight gain. I imagine, though, that this poor girl- wrought with crazy pregnant raging hormones and uncomfortable swollen body parts- did read those words. Those horrible judgemental criticisms that followed every interview and every photo.
I developed a new respect for this woman. Here she is- being a normal WOMAN. Enjoying her pregnancy, revelling in the changes that her body is going through, and still she maintains her sense of humor regarding the backlash of judgement received about her weight. I honestly don't know how any woman can take the amount of scrutiny she has recieved.
And it makes me wonder...When are we and the media going to stop focusing so much on how much women gain during their pregnancies? Do we not incite enough body image issues as it is with our ridiculous obsessions with being stick skinny instead of healthy? Do we have to attack and criticize every natural aspect of being a woman? Can't a pregnant woman just be...pregnant?
She was INCUBATING a h uman. Coming from experience- that isn't an easy task. And a woman's body engages in all sorts of crazy shenanigans during pregnancy. Some of it is expected, some...not so much. I never expected to swell up like a freaking overblown tick either...that wasn't completely outlined in my "what to expect" manual.
According to interviews she said: "I let myself indulge in everything I wanted because it was the first time I was ever pregnant, and I wanted to enjoy it," she said. "I wanted to be happy and eat what I wanted." <-------I felt this way too! I totally get it! She wanted a break.
What is wrong with wanting to take a break from all the pressure of dieting and working out and being a perfect size zero in Hollywood?
If I were her and had to deal with the ridiculous pressures of always maintaining a perfect body, I sure as hell would also take a break during pregnancy. I think it's deserved. I think it has been earned.
Now four months later, she's revealing her post baby body on Katie Couric and she's STILL getting flack from the masses. I've heard people say "she's barely lost anything!" "she's still huge!".
^What the what? I think she looks great!
Um. People. She's a new mom. It's been four months. I really couldn't care less over the fact that she still *gasp* has held on to her baby weight. I don't even care that she's getting a huge payment from Weight Watchers to be their spokesperson. Good for her!
In fact...I'm GLAD she's still not back to her prepregnancy size. This little piece of information in fact, made my darn day. FINALLY!!! Someone in Hollywood who admits that losing the pre-pregnancy weight is a struggle. Someone who has access to trainers and chefs and nannies and TIME to work out is admitting how hard it is. Finally, a normal person in the midst of the crazy who gains weight like the NORMAL population. Finally, someone in Hollywood that can present a normal vision of how motherhood can change a person, a body, and a mind and leave you feeling ragged and out of sorts.
So thank you, Jessica Simpson. You've gained my respect and a new fan. And even if you still haven't lost the weight in a year, I will never raise an eyebrow nor give a side-eye.
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By Rita Arens