I always thought it was mean and unnecessary how people used to scrutinize and pick on Jessica Simpson for her body and weight fluctuations. One major inflection point was when she performed at some sort of chili cookoff festival in a rather poorly-cut pair of high-waisted jeans, accessorized with an exceptionally ugly belt. She was mocked for her size in those photos, which was terrible. There was also talk of her weight after her pregnancies and she had a partnership with Weight Watchers as well.
Jessica was in Mexico with her family for spring break last week. She was feeling herself and as one does, she posted a few bikini shots (wearing her own collection, of course). In one of her captions, Jessica noted that this bikini pic accompanied a major milestone: she’s gained and lost 100 pounds three times. She spoke to People shortly after about body image and her workout routine.
While chatting with PEOPLE, the singer and fashion designer, 41, says she believes all bodies — no matter their shape or size — should be celebrated daily.
“It’s hard to not see your flaws first, [but] I think that, as a society, things are changing. And that’s great because every body’s being celebrated,” she tells PEOPLE.
“So I understand the mentality of all women, and I understand loving where you’re at or wanting more, or wanting something better,” she says. “I understand that.”
Simpson has famously dealt with weight gain and weight loss throughout the years — all while in the public eye — and says she’s always shocked by her body’s ability to go back to her pre-baby size.
“I always celebrate my body,” she says. “The fact that it made children is unreal, … but you just don’t ever think you’re going to fit back into things. It’s crazy. A woman’s body is phenomenal in what it can do.”
Adding that she has “been happy at every size,” with the exception of her weight “at the end” of her pregnancies, Simpson says, “I’ve definitely embraced myself.”
“And I think that people get that with me, and they know that I’m being open and that I’m being honest about my life.”
“I never thought of being in a bikini again, because I was stretched out as big as the couch,” she says. “So to be able to put on a bikini … I just hadn’t thought that was even a goal until I put it on, and I was like, ‘I think I was afraid of that.’ ”
“It really made me emotional,” Simpson continues, before explaining that she shared photographs of herself rocking the swimwear on social media as a way of reminding herself that “the impossible can happen.”
“And for me, as a woman, to be able to look as good as I feel was a major moment,” she adds. “You’re proud of yourself and you deserve it … [and you’re] understanding yourself and feeling good on the outside. When those two things click, the sky’s the limit.”
Simpson — who recently partnered with Flonase — says that she works out often, and her go-to exercise involves weight training, which she describes as being “something I love.”
“I don’t know why I’ve always loved it. Maybe because my papaw was a football coach, and he always wanted me to have big calf muscles, and I made sure I accomplished that in my life,” she continues with a laugh.
“But I love weights. There’s something about it that actually give me energy. And I know it burns fat,” Simpson adds.
I’m guessing the three 100-pound weight gains and losses were for each of her three pregnancies. Her youngest is only three so the timing lines up. I’ve always found Jessica relatable when she talks about this stuff. She’s always talked openly and candidly about her struggles with weight and exercise and what she liked to eat and drink. And it rang true more so than the many celebs who would claim that all they eat is burgers and then work out so they could eat those burgers. (Sobriety probably helped with her weight loss goals as well). With Jessica, it doesn’t sound like talking points to seem relatable, it seems like that’s how she really is. So if she says she likes weight training, I believe that. (I also think it’s adorable that she worked on her calf muscles because her grandpa thought it was important). I’m still a cardio girl myself, but I’ve gotten more into weights in recent years and agree with Jessica about the energy and fat burn. I always like to hear about the workout routines of celebs who are shorter/curvier, like Jessica, because I’m also on the short side.
It’s great that Jessica is feeling good and proud of her body and accepting of herself. Anecdotally, I recall hearing women, both famous and not, say that they became less hard on themselves about their bodies after having babies because their body had just done this amazing thing, which it sounds like Jessica is saying here as well. I like that while she is happy with where she is, Jessica also acknowledged the ways other women might feel in terms of still wanting to reach specific goals. The body acceptance movement is great and at the same time people who have specific goals they’d like to reach for their own bodies shouldn’t be made to feel bad for wanting to lose weight, tone up, etc. Again, very relatable and honestly a great message!