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Jessie James Decker Was ‘So Confused’ by Backlash to Photo of Her Kids’ Abs: ‘I’m Proud of Them’ (Exclusive)

Mama bear mode. Jessie James Decker didn’t hesitate about posting a vacation photo of three children, not realizing that their defined ab muscles would soon be criticized.

Related: Every Time Jessie James Decker Clapped Back at Trolls

“You know what’s really funny is there are times where I will post something on Instagram and I will be like, ‘That may cause this but whatever’ or ‘That may be taken in a funny way, I don’t care.’ I literally posted that and didn’t even think twice,” the Kittenish founder, 34, exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, January 19, while promoting her partnership with Heluva Good! Dips. “So hours go by and all of a sudden I’m like, ‘Wait, what?’ Like, I couldn’t believe the reaction. I was so confused but there was never one moment where it upset me.”

James Decker posted a photo of daughter Vivianne, 8, and sons Eric Jr. 7, and Forrest, 4, posing together during a beach vacation in November 2022. After the Dancing With the Stars alum — who shares her kiddos with husband Eric Decker — uploaded the sweet pic, social media users chimed in that their ab muscles were too prominent. James Decker immediately clapped back, noting that Vivianne, Eric Jr. and Forrest are “healthy fit kids” who are “super active.”

Jessie James Decker: I Was ‘So Confused’ by Backlash to My Kids Having Abs
Jessie James Decker. Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

“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 [Sydney Rae Bass and John James] had six packs when we were kids and so did Eric and his sister,” she told Us on Thursday. “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.”

Related: Jessie James Decker and Eric Decker's Family Photos Over the Years

The Just Jessie author’s daughter, for her part, is very focused on her gymnastics training.

“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?” James Decker — who married the 35-year-old former NFL star in 2013 — 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?”

Related: Jessie James Decker’s Family Breakdown: Sister Sydney, Brother John, More

The “Should Have Known Better” songstress proudly preaches body positivity to her children. “For me, they’re so little and it’s like, let ’em be kids,” she told Us. “I’m not gonna start getting into these deep conversations, but you know, all I tell them is I’m proud of them and to have big dreams and that’s it.”

In addition to raising her little ones to be strong and confident, the Eric & Jessie alum is gearing up to host her Super Bowl watch party — with plenty of Heluva Good! dips and their range of limited-edition candles to help set the mood. The limited-edition Heluva Good! Game Day Candle Collection is a “flight” of candles, which scents include, Buffalo Wing, Buttermilk Ranch and Potato Chip and 50 lucky winners will receive their own Game Day Collection in time for the Big Game.

“Everything to me is about presentation, but also when it comes to presentation, you gotta like back it up with having good stuff, like a good spread,” James Decker said on Thursday. “I like to have a total variety. Everyone has their little things that they like to snack on and eat to get ready, but I am the hostess with mostest. I love entertaining, I love having people over. And I think it’s always fun to be super festive and decorate your table.”

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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