LOS ANGELES – Jessica Simpson’s weight has been the subject of intense media scrutiny for years, from too tiny for her Daisy Dukes to the infamous “mom jeans” cookout. But is it fair that the pop star is now being widely condemned for gaining "too many" pregnancy pounds?
Must every female star look like Victoria Beckham or Miranda Kerr with a bun in the oven?
“I find it appalling that people believe it is their place to criticize a woman for gaining weight during pregnancy. Jessica Simpson’s body health and the health of her developing baby are the business of her doctor, her husband, and most of all, herself,” Dr. Robyn Silverman, body image expert and author, told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “Jessica Simpson is a great demonstration of a woman who is enjoying her pregnancy and is not hyper focused on how she looks while pregnant.”
The “Fashion Star” hasn’t shied away from the public spotlight despite headlines like “Jessica Simpson’s Excessive Weight Gain” and “Jessica Simpson: It’s Not Twins.” When she’s not busy promoting her new NBC show or her billion-dollar fashion empire, she’s teetering around in high heels for all the paparazzi to see and making jokes about her bulging belly and the not-so-perky parts of pregnancy.
"I just started calling myself Swamp Ass. Like, I have 'swamp ass' right now. I had major swamp ass because I was wearing these Spanx to hold in my gut. It's like the bayou up in that region,” Simpson told Jay Leno, after tweeting to her almost five million followers: "The average person expels gas 15 times each day. The average pregnant woman farts 15 times that!"
The star happily served as bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding last weekend, and she even gushed that she “couldn’t wait” to pose naked at 170 pounds for the cover of Elle magazine, and felt “so comfortable” in her skin.
According to John Sharp, M.D., leading psychiatrist and Harvard Medical School faculty member, Simpson’s candid and honest approach makes her a refreshing change in the image-conscious entertainment industry.
“Ms. Simpson is very revealing about her experience of pregnancy, it is refreshing to see how she is going with all the natural changes rather than resisting them,” he said, while Los Angeles bariatric surgeon Dr. Carson D. Liu concurred that the songstress should be “given a pass” from body attacks.
However, Simpson has raised eyebrows by routinely sharing her pregnancy diet – Buttered Pop Tarts, peanut butter and jelly shots, Cap'n Crunch, Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese – suggesting that her estimated 50-pound pregnancy weight gain could potentially be unwise.
“Women should not starve themselves to keep from gaining weight, nor should they overindulge and overeat. Some women take pregnancy as an excuse for ‘letting go,’’ added Dr. Francine Shapiro, author of the new book “Getting Past Your Past.” “If she is exceeding medical guidelines by gaining 50 pounds rather than the recommended 25 pounds, she is clearly not a role model for pregnant women. But then she never signed on to be one.”
A rep for Simpson did not respond to a request for comment.
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay