In a revealing interview with American Baby magazine, Jaime King got candid about body image, life as a working mother, and the reasons Jessica Alba and Taylor Swift are godmothers to her child and baby-to-be.
Despite a modeling career that includes appearances in publications ranging from Vogue to Glamour, King said she hasn't been immune to body-shaming.
"People have made comments about how I'm too thin and need to eat a sandwich," King told American Baby, which features her as the subject of its August cover story. "I've seen it happen with other pregnant women in this business too — we're either too thin or put on too much weight. But every woman's body is different … all that matters is that you're taking care of the nutrition for yourself and your child. So don't let other people get you down, and don't put other women down either."
King — who has a 21-month old son, James Knight Newman, and expects to deliver her second child next month — added, "If you don't accept yourself and your body, no one else will.”
As someone who's made part of her living making clothes look good, King offered fashion tips for pregnant women who want to look and feel their best.
"Most either go boho and wear long flowy dresses like they're going to the beach, or they throw on sweatpants because they feel like crap," she said. "To me, pregnancy is the ultimate symbol of womanhood, beauty and sensuality, so make it a celebration of creating life. You don't have to hide anything or try to suck in your belly. Why not put on things that are tighter, flashier, or more fun? Wearing formfitting clothes totally counteracts that voice inside of us that says, 'Ugh, I just want to lie down all day and sleep.' I feel it's really important to feel good about yourself, and fashion is part of that."
Pregnancy comes with its share of challenges, but there were a few surprises King said she wasn't expecting, including one involving her role on The CW's "Hart of Dixie."
She told the magazine she was shocked when representatives from the TV show "considered my pregnancy a disability," and struggled in knowing that if she took three months off, she wouldn't receive pay. "I went back to work after six weeks," she added. "It was really difficult trying to navigate that. I realized I was living in a world that so many other working moms are living in."
Nonetheless, as someone who said a uterine disorder and ovarian cysts were among the reasons it initially took her seven years to get pregnant, King added she finds joy in "every part" of the baby stage.
Other interview highlights include:
- Why she chose Alba to be godmother to her son and Swift to fulfill that role for King's next child: "I asked myself, 'God forbid anything happened to me, would [a potential godmother] take care of my child as if he were her own? What kind of morals would she instill? Will she be backup support if for any reason my child doesn't want to come to me for something?' I looked for giving people whom I admire, and those two give more than anyone I've ever met."
- The best advice she received as a new mom: "Sleep when your baby sleeps. Even now that James Knight is older, I know that if I'm tired between 10:30 a.m. and noon, I can lie down and take a nap when he's napping."
- The biggest lesson she's learned from her son: "He does not hold on to hurt feelings, so he's given me a get-over-yourself attitude. Now when something bothers me, I think, 'I should be like James Knight and get over it in two seconds.' Parents can really learn from kids about letting go. Every time I look at my son, he makes me want to be a better person."
The August edition of American Baby, including the King cover story, will be available to online subscribers July 13.
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