"I literally posted that and didn't even think twice," she told Us Weekly about the November Instagram photo she shared from a family getaway in Mexico. "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."
The photo of her children Vivianne, 8, Eric Jr., 7, and Forrest, 4, in swimsuits made headlines over Thanksgiving weekend as people made accusations that James Decker digitally altered the photos to give the kids the appearance of muscular bodies. Others claimed that James Decker and her husband Eric Decker must have their children on a diet plan.
James Decker clarified that that is not the case.
"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 said. "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."
This isn't the first time that James Decker has addressed this commentary in particular, as she posted a video to Instagram just days after the initial photo.
"When I posted the pix of our vacation and included the kids being silly flexing on the beach on our thanksgiving trip I had NO clue it would get the reaction it did," she captioned the post. "But Being accused of photoshopping abs on my kids (I can't help but laugh) or … the polar opposite over 'overtraining' our kids makes me realize how bizarre our world has gotten regarding the body and what's normal and what's not. We preach about body positivity and acceptance but my kids having a mass amount of genetic and built muscle from athletics is 'weird'?"
In conversation with Us Weekly, James Decker went on to say that she felt the commentary on her children's bodies was "so wild" and discredited the passion for athletics that the couple has instilled in the children.
"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 said, noting that her eldest Vivianne has already expressed great interest in gymnastics. "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? ... 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?"
She concluded, "For me, they're so little and it's like, let 'em be kids. 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."
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