Months after sharing a family photo from vacation that sparked backlash, singer Jessie James Decker says she still doesn’t quite understand what folks online were so worked up about.
Back in November, Decker shared a photo of her three kids — Vivianne Rose, 8, Eric Jr., 7, and Forrest, 4 — in their bathing suits on a beach in Mexico. The three had defined ab muscles in the picture and their physique sparked outcry in the online comments.
Decker — who shares the three children with her husband, former NFL player Eric Decker — defended her kids at the time, writing she’d been floored by the responses and encouraging her fans and followers to “be accepting of all people and children.”
“Let’s not pick and choose what we normalize regarding bodies and be accepting of all people and children. If we wanna do ‘better’ then do better,” she wrote.
Then, in an interview with Us Weekly on Jan. 19, she was asked about the incident again.
“I think if anything I was like, ‘This is so wild.’ My kids are athletic, they are outside and genetics have a big play. Like, my siblings had six packs when we were kids and so did Eric and his sister,” she told the outlet. “They were just genetics and my kids are extremely active and I’m not gonna apologize for it. There are a lot of times where I’m not gonna speak up about things, but they’re my kids and I’m a mama bear.”
She continued: “And for me, it was ridiculous. I’m proud of them and they’re very active and they have their passions with sports and performing and, like, let’s encourage that.”
She added that her daughter is a “physically elite and fit” gymnast.
“She’s incredible and I’m very proud of her. She’s 8 years old and what are we gonna do? We’re gonna start calling out children who are active athletes?” Decker said. “She may go to the Olympics one day and we’re already gonna start body criticizing a little girl because she’s physically elite and fit? How about we encourage and lift up that she works so hard at something she loves so much and has a dream?”