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Jessie James Decker says she wants her kids to ‘feel proud of their bodies’ after abs backlash

The country singer posted a lengthy comment on Monday about her children's athletic bodies after people commented it was "weird" her children had abs in a previous post.
Jessie James Decker with her three children Vivianne Rose, Eric Jr., and Forrest.
Jessie James Decker with her three children Vivianne Rose, Eric Jr., and Forrest.Jessie James Decker/Instagram

Jessie James Decker took to Instagram again on Nov. 28 to defend her children's athletic body types that caused a backlash on her social media over Thanksgiving weekend.

She initially posted a family photo of her three kids in their bathing suits on Saturday, Nov. 26. The picture highlighted the ab muscles of her three children — Vivianne Rose, 8, Eric Jr., 7, and Forrest, 4 — as they stood together on a beach in Mexico.

Some users thought the photo had been edited. When someone commented, “Surely this is an app but I don’t see anyone saying as much,” Decker replied, “yeah I used an ‘ab’ app on my small children wtf.”

There was also commentary about her children’s health and appearance.

“My kids are super active and do not look ripped,” one user commented. “This takes a special kind of diet and exercise and it looks strange on a child hence all the comments.”

Decker, 34, replied to the Instagram user, writing, “from one mother to another. Please don’t call my children’s appearance strange just because they don’t look the way you think they should? It’s unkind.” She added a heart emoji.

In a follow up on Nov. 28, James Decker wrote that she'd been floored by the response to her initial post and slammed the critiques of her children's bodies.

"Let’s not pick and choose what we normalize regarding bodies and be accepting of all people and children," she wrote, in part. "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 said her kids got their body shapes from "a mass amount of genetic and built muscle from athletics."

She added that her daughter Vivianne is an elite gymnast, her son Eric Jr. wants "to be like dad as an NFL receiver" and her youngest, Forrest, "spends hours dancing his heart out."

"I’m proud of my children and encourage them to live their dreams," she concluded. "So we’ll see y’all at the 2032 Olympics, and wearing Bubbys jersey in the stands and dancing at Forrests rock concert."

Fellow celebrities and parents chimed in their support on her Instagram posts. In the first one, Selma Blair wrote, “I love these smiles. The strength. So in their bodies. Fun goals.

“Just wait till I start doing 2 a days,” country star Kane Brown commented. “they’re ripped!!”

One person added, “I was a gymnastics from the age of 5 till I was 18. I had abs and biceps at her age. It’s simply called athletics and eating well.”

“The fact people are commenting on these children’s bodies is disturbing,” another user wrote. 

In July 2021, Decker received online criticism about her own body. At the time, the country singer shared a series of emotional videos on her Instagram story in which she candidly shared her reaction to reading “disgusting” comments about her appearance.

“So I’ve always been pretty confident in myself, and I’m not perfect,” she said. “I’ve always fluctuated in my weight up and down, but I have recently been sent a Reddit page that rips me apart on a daily basis. They’re talking about how, apparently, fat I’ve gotten, and how boxy and how terrible my body looks. And they’re accusing me of editing my body and all these things.”

She continued, adding, “When you are writing blogs and stories and bullying me about how much weight I’ve gained and how fat my thighs are, I do take that offensively. Because what is the messaging you are sharing?” 

Later in the video, Decker relocated to the bathroom so that Vivianne Rose wouldn't hear about the criticism or see her upset.

“I hope my daughter doesn’t grow up in a world where people do this to her because it’s wrong," she said.