Kerri Walsh Jennings Poses Nude While Pregnant – and with Baby

07/09/2013 at 09:00 AM ET

When you compete on a worldwide stage in the skimpiest of bathing suits, how shy can you be?

For beach volleyball Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, the answer came crashingly clear just before her second of two nude photo shoots for ESPN The Magazine.

The first time she stripped down while pregnant; the second was a follow-up session posing in the altogether with her new baby last month, about nine weeks after giving birth.

“Driving there I was sweating bullets,” says Walsh Jennings, 34. “I was really, really nervous. I felt exposed, not just physically, but with all of my insecurities.”

The side-by-side results appear in the magazine’s fifth annual Body Issue, on newsstands Friday, along with nude photos of male and female athletes. The sports range from pro football to golf to tennis.

“When I was offered this opportunity it wasn’t an automatic yes. I had to think about it. I’m my parents’ daughter. I have my husband,” she said. “When I came down to it, I had the opportunity to do something uncomfortable. I think that’s an important part of life. It’s something new. I looked at it as a challenge.”

Jenna von Oy Happy Birthday Gray Richard Phibbs


Walsh Jennings says she gained 36 lbs. on her 6′, 2” frame while pregnant with her third child, daughter Scout Margery. She’s lost most of it, but is trying for 12 lbs. more.

“I have been working my butt off literally every single day,” she says, preparing for her first post-baby tournament in Switzerland later this month. “I’ve come a long way from April when I had my baby. But I’m definitely not where I would normally be going into my first tournament of the season.”

She’ll also have to adjust to competing without longtime partner Misty May-Treanor, who retired after the pair won their third gold at the London Olympics. After joining interim partner Whitney Pavlik in Switzerland and later in Long Beach, she’ll team with new partner April Ross.

Which means the next few weeks will bring one more temporary tinge of self-consciousness. “Before I get my tan,” she says, “I feel naked.”

– Mike Fleeman

FILED UNDER: Babies , Exclusive , Maternity , News , Parenting , Video

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JU1978 on

I really appreciate Walsh-Jennings’ courage. I am pregnant with my second, 10 weeks. I have been working out intensely for the past two years and was in the best shape of my life, and I’m now unreasonably worried about the toll this pregnancy will take on my body. Seeing a top athlete look so great- but so realistically great so soon after having her child is inspiring, for sure.

Anais on

she looks amazing

Kim on

These types of photos are beautiful for a private family album, but I’ve never quite understood the reasoning for making them public unless you’re trying to stroke your ego.

Ginger on

She Looks Great!

Lynette on

She looks fabulous!! She is such an inspiration to women.

TM on

Wow! Look at those beautiful legs! She looks amazing.

Crystal on

Kerri looks AMAZING!!!! ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!! I love ESPN The Magazine’s body issue. Those athletes are HOT! HOT! HOT!!!! :)

Anonymous on

Why oh why, do these women continue to pose nude while pregnant? Demi Moore started this madness and I wish it had ended with her.

brianne on

beautiful!

Lolo on

So where the heck is she hiding 12 extra pounds? She looks incredible!

julie on

Absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!!!

Anonymous on

She looks amazing! Like a real woman, Congrats!

michelle on

PHOTOSHOP!

Alexis on

I remember Life magazine did an issue with the title “Naked Power, Amazing Grace” that was a photo spread of Olympic athletes in the nude. It was very tastefully done and the photos were incredible – to see the muscle tone on these bodies was really impressive. I hope ESPN’s magazine does as tasteful a photo spread…if these pictures are any indication, I’d say they have succeeded.

Erica on

Stand proud girl…you look absolutely stunning!

lola on

she looks great but i’m confused by her comments. she is afraid to do it, then don’t. this isn’t fighting a battle or dealing with third world problems. her only concern was to pose naked for the cover a magazine? wow, strange the things some people call problems. while i think she is wonderful athlete and has a good body, her ego conflicts are entertaining. and her last comment “i feel naked if i don’t have a tan”? she can pose on the magazine naked and get over it but her tan makes her feel exposed. huh, strange one for me.

Jen on

Beautiful carrying baby, beautiful post baby. Wishing her all the best.

dancer92136 on

Beautiful and Strong

envyofnone on

Good for her! And she looks natural, still a little (VERY little) pooch where it should be…stand proud Momma! :)

dee on

What a dummy keep your clothes on lady! Sick of these celebs going nude just make themselves feel better.

Jess on

I love that she looks fit and healthy. She is a beautiful woman and someone who is a REAL role model for girls all over the world. It is inspring to hear of her success as both a athlete and mother. She is proof that having it all is possible.

Clark on

Don’t get me wrong, she looks beautiful. But I really don’t understand why women pose for these pictures for magazine publication. Why does the public deserve to see so much of them? In my opinion, some things should be reserved for the privacy and intimacy of her husband. Just my opinion, and she really does look fabulous.

Kay123 on

I’m not denying she looks great, she definitely does, I just don’t get the whole nude photo thing. Like a previous post stated, it’s fine to do it at home but why make it public? I have nothing against pregnant women, she looks beautiful in the photo but the whole nudity thing just takes away from the beauty of pregnancy (IMO).

Julie on

@ LoLo……I agree…..I’m looking for those extra 12 pounds, too! She’s adorable…very real….looks wonderful!!!!

Pam on

Totally Kim. I’m not a fan of anyone sharing these with the public either.

cloudninegirl on

She looks beautiful. However, I’m not sure why posing like this was necessary, except for the media to exploit her nudity for profit.

Hmmm on

Well I think this should be a wake up call to any porky women out there who like to blame letting themselves go on having kids. No need to look a mess, bit of work and move your butt and you can lose the weight gained. Always feel sorry for friends when their wives just let themselves go after having kids.

Pam on

Don’t worry about it, enjoy your pregnancy! Eat healthily and you can still do light workouts, and go for lots of walks. Whatever you do don’t stress about the weight you might gain, just remember you are creating life and be happy about it. My Husband’s loving my pregnancy curves. :)

Anonymous on

why? what is with this narcisstic obsession that celebraties, athletes, actors and musicans have. I think it’s amazing that they are this arrogant to shove themselves in the face of viewers, but yet proclaim they want to be taken serious for their craft of sport. We live in a sad state of affairs when we desperately put everything out their for all to see–and to assume that many want to see this.

manomer on

JU1978…you will be fine. Also when that baby is born you will soon forget about your body..(for a little while anyway). I think for the majority of people who have maintained a healthy lifestyle and working out find they bounce back fairly quickly. My first PG I ate like there was no tomorrow….I had elastic pants and no cares in the world…lol. I gained about 30lbs and it was pretty hard to start back to eating right but you just do it. I was much better with my second pg and lost everything fairly quickly. You will be fine. Good luck on your impending arrival! :)

sandy on

I love her, and she looks great, I love that she posed, and all her feelings (including feeling naked with out a tan) is so very normal. Im really glad she did it, the human body is amazing, and I like that pics like this show off that side of it. Plus, she is just smoking hot while in that little red bikini! Go Kerri.

Amy on

@Lola – she said it was uncomfortable for her not that she was afraid. Many people choose to try things that make them feel uncomfortable in order to grow mentally. Kind of like challenging your muscles in a different way – it will hurt for a little while, but it will be worth it.

She’s a world-champion volleyball player – I imagine she’s used to having a tan. For many people (I’m assuming, I have fair skin) a tan hides all kinds of flaws – is it really so difficult to understand what she’s saying?

Stacey on

This posing nude while pregnant and showing the world has always been ridiculous. There are such things as private, like when you conceived the child.She also talks about a tan, and that’s just plain stupid as skin cancer is at am all time high.

Mika on

Kerri is so pretty! To hear that she was nervous and insecure makes her all the more human. She has a great body, while pregnant and after giving birth.

Tina on

6’2″? Wow! She’s a tall order. Thirty-six pounds is not a large weight gain on a 6’2″ woman. She looks good.

DaisyMoon on

She is simply…..spectacular.

CABL on

Awesome pics!

KK on

She looks lovely and the baby is so pretty!!

But why is it celebs never have cellulite or stretch marks? Photoshop is truly a blessing.

Sharon on

She looks amazing in both pics! I just love her and Misty May.

Guest on

Is that a butterfly tat on her butt? She looks/reminds me of Jen Aniston posing nude with that tie a while back.

mamallg on

She looks amazing! Both pictures are beautiful.

chi-girl on

Now that is true pure beauty!!

susan on

Beautiful pics an congrats on the new baby !!!!!!! :)

Gigi C on

There’s no need for that…

Marie on

She sounds pretty conceited..and quite honestly, she’s not even that pretty. Sure she may have a great body and be a great athlete..but that doesn’t make her pretty.

fer on

These pictures are just beautiful!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking on

Well, Kim, one reason is to vary the female image that’s in the media. She’s not a cookie cutter Hollywood type — she has a strong, athletic body. And she’s also using her body in a way that we sadly don’t see all the time — to nurture instead of as an object. I appreciate what this adds to the image currently out there for women to aspire to.

Charli Mabriel on

I wish she would smile! Isn’t she happy?!

Also, I agree with the other posters about her tan comment – I understand her job is outdoors but come on. Especially as a mom.

Pam on

She gets a spray tan duh Stacey!

Kelly on

WHY is this news?

Steph on

There’s no denying it, she looks awesome! However, I think these photos are something you should do for yourself and keep private. I don’t understand why it’s so trendy to go public with nude pregnancy pics.

Margaret on

ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue is not about shoving nudity in readers’ faces, it’s about celebrating what is amazing about the human body. for these athletes, their bodies are so perfectly honed to help them do what they do. the pictures are always tasteful and really beautiful.

Ann on

What is the purpose of showing a nude pregnant female? Never quite understood the reason for this…Yawn!!!!!

SarahJane on

Before someone comes along and leaves a snarky response, I totally agree. As someone who was a healthy weight before pregnancy, healthy weight while pregnant, and now a healthy weight again, I can’t understand women who think pregnancy is the time to treat your body like a garbage disposal. You’re creating life, a life that weighs an average of 7 lbs. Pregnancy is the time to be healthiest. It’s totally doable to bounce back quickly.

Pam on

She has some kind of tattoo there. She really looks like Jen A. in these pics, especially in the one on the right.

RachelB-MD on

How absolute BEAUTIFUL is she!!!! Look at her killer abs… right after the baby.

Dave on

Except for her stomach, you couldn’t tell she was pregnant. Given that she’s an Olympic caliber athlete she’s going to have an advantage over most women. I have to chuckle though after hearing how hard Kim K worked out during her pregnancy and how big she got. I know Kerri has a longer frame, but still, she gained 36lbs but the rest of her body looks pretty normal. Unlike Kim who looked like me stuffed into a size 2 spandex body suit.

Lara on

I just don’t get it. You put yourself out there like this and then later claim to want your privacy. Sounds like you are missing the attention of the volleyball days and resorting to posing nude. There are a lot of women who look just as good as Her post baby but you just don’t hear about them. ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR!!!!!!!

jaintn on

Why?

JF on

Enough … no need to share; really!!

Rose on

Alexis, the ESPN issues are phenomenal and executed in very good taste. If you want to see muscle definition, find the issue with Evan Lysacek (look on ESPN.com). Astounding.

Debbie on

Photo shop and /or air brushing and we’ll all look that good. It doesn’t even look like her face. And why do female athletes feel the need to pose nude?! As a former female athlete I just feel this lowers yourself to the common denominator, I was appalled with the US Volleyball team did it and I see no value in this. Keep your naked photos to yourself (with or without your child) . . get over yourself!!

Jimalee Jackson on

So, we are supposed to believe that after 3 kids she doesn’t even have the hint of one stretch mark – Whatever :(

Linda on

Please understand that I have no problem with her posing, but to anyone who thinks that these photos are un-retouched? Puhleeze. I personally think she would have looked spectacular “au natural” without the aid of modern chicanery, and will be MUCH more impressed when photo journalism is just that. I realize that this is a celebrity rag (which I enjoy, by the way), but theses types of photos perpetuate an unrealistic view of the human body, male or female. Real people have cellulite, bumps, bruises, varicose veins. Why we want to glorify a “perfection” that is unattainable is truly baffling to me.

IcyU on

TMS (too much skin!) unless posing for a skin mag or private family album. And for those of you wondering where those 12 pounds went, it’s called the Photoshop diet.

julie on

The Body Issue is not about sexuality or throwing your boobs in people’s faces. It is always very tastefully done, and to be asked to pose is a great honor. The pictures show what the human body is capable of becoming when you treat it right and work hard. Kerri took care of her body, and now her body is clearly taking care of her

Summer on

SarahJane – not every woman who doesn’t bounce right back ate like a pig and didn’t take care of herself. My son is 7 months old and I still have 5-8 (depending on the day) pounds to lose. I only gained 23 lbs, he was 8lbs 8oz, and I nurse. I also work full time and have a hard time fitting in the time or energy to, in the words of Kerri, “Literally work my butt of every single day.” Women need to be kinder to each other and stop judging over something so shallow as bodies, particularly when the focus should be on the mother and baby, healing from delivery, and bonding with the new little one.

That said, Kerri looks fantastic! I don’t understand why people hate pics like these. Pregnancy and motherhood are beautiful. Those who say it should be for the husband’s eyes only are oversexualizing a natural, graceful part of being a woman. Why is it ok for women to flaunt cleavage and short skirts/shorts but not a tasteful picture of motherhood? Such an American point of view (coming from an American).

Franklin on

Complete madness! Pls go get ur clothes on.

Anonymous on

I think she looks absolutely beautiful in both pics…

Anonymous on

Funny how these celebs post these photos because they’re “empowering” and all about “embracing new body positively” , yet they’re all photoshopped to the buggery.

If you’re going to “bare all” don’t be a pussy about it. Show everyone what your body ACTUALLY looks like if it’s sooo empowering.

houseof2glenns on

Photoshop. They forgot to add back her knee in the re-touched photo with the baby. Terrible.

Lyoness on

@Dave – In Kim K’s defense she’s 5’2″. She’s really short. She also had pre-eclampsia. KWJ is 6’2″ and an Olympic athlete. Even if KWJ wasn’t athletic she would carry a child or a 30 pound weight gain completely differently. I love the concept of “The Body” issue. On a fundamental level our bodies are machines. It’s cool to see what they can do… the highest levels of sports or produce another human being… I think these pics are really inspirational. :)

Linda on

The opening line is so funny!

Kim’s comment makes a good point:
“These types of photos are beautiful for a private family album, but I’ve never quite understood the reasoning for making them public unless you’re trying to stroke your ego.”

The purpose is to use a naked woman to draw eyes to the MAGAZINE. After all, it was ESPN who requested the photos to be done. Kerri’s not the first and she won’t be the last to be used for this purpose. ESPN wants people to turn their heads and look at their magazine, and what better way to do that than to post a photo of a naked woman?

Mama of Two on

She looks amazing and best wishes to her and her children. I personally think it’s ridiculous to pressure white people to be tan, whether it’s by a chemical spray or by spending hours in the sun. White skin is beautiful already. Who made up this social “rule” that white is not good enough? The orange tans look stupid. This is reverse stupidity after people used to pressure blacks to “pass” as white.

Sara on

Gorgeous photos, tastefully done. She is a beautiful woman, and the human body is beautiful as well. Bravo.

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