Why Are Jessica Simpson's Baby Pics Worth Less Than Her Weight Loss?

There was no bidding war for pictures of Jessica Simpson's baby Maxwell.

Ever since Jessica Simpson announced that she and fiance Eric Johnson were expecting their first child together, people couldn’t get enough of the details. We spent roughly two years wondering how close she was to her due date, which designers her baby girl was going to wear, how posh her birthing suite was going to be, what kind of name they’d choose, whether the baby’s sign would be Taurus, Gemini or No Parking.

So now little Maxwell Drew is here, and from all accounts, she’s as cute as the proverbial button. Naturally, the public is curious to see her for themselves. It’s common for celeb parents to sell the magazine cover rights of the first baby pictures, both for the quick cash and to avoid being trailed by overzealous paparazzi. As expected, Jessica opted to do just that.

But unlike other famous parents who collected astronomical sums for first dibs of their darlings – J. Lo and Marc Anthony received $6 million for photos of their twins; Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie took $11 million for their cover shoot with Knox and Vivienne – Jessica is getting a comparatively paltry $800,000 for her photos.

What’s more, there wasn’t even a bidding war among the tabloids. People got the rights without a fight, according to WWD.

It would be easy to shrug this off as a product of the shaky economy, or even a statement on Jessica’s fame. Except for one more disturbing little fact: Ms. Simpson is also collecting a cool $3 million…to lose weight via Weight Watchers.

In other words, this Precious Miracle of Life is worth roughly four times less than the extra pounds she left around her mom’s waistline.

Nice.

The message rings out loud and clear yet again: Celebrity women are worth our love and attention only when they fit into negative-sized clothing. The rest of us feel that pressure too, but when your life is spent in front of the cameras, you’re expected to live up to even more unrealistic ideals.

It doesn’t matter if your body has just spent the last nine months working at growing a baby. If you’re not out of the maternity jeans by the time the kid is starting solid foods, you might as well kiss your career goodbye.

Poor Beyonce must barely have a chance to play peek-a-boo with Blue Ivy. She’s spent the last four months working with her trainer and eating air so that she can appear at red-carpet events in nothing-to-the-imagination gowns and brag to interviewers about how “disciplined” she is. Bey will be hitting the concert circuit soon, too, and heaven forfend her fans should see her with an extra ounce of flesh or with a costume that was let out an inch or two.

Sure, there are celeb moms who say they refuse to stress out over their post-baby bodies – most recently, Jenna Fischer said she didn’t mind not losing all the maternity weight after having her son Weston. But they still work at it, because they know that if they don’t, they’ll either end up as a “Look What Happened to HER!” tabloid cover line or – worse yet – spend the rest of their lives as the heroine’s plump-but-funny best friend or the overweight, overworked housewife.

When you think about it, this all ties into the larger issue of the Mommy Wars, into which Time so graciously lobbed a fresh grenade yesterday. Once again, we’re forcing mothers into two camps – the Fit and Proud of It group vs. the I’m Okay With My Body faction – and making our preference known by offering sweet rewards (concert tours, promo deals) to those who join the ranks of the thin.

If Jessica Simpson genuinely wants to lose the extra pounds for her health’s sake, more power to her – but couldn’t we let her rest and adjust to new motherhood first?

Mothers feel enough guilt as it is. No one should have to start her life as a parent feeling that her appearance is more valuable than her child.

[Photo: via PacificCoastNews.com]

Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.

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