Jenna Dewan: ‘When [you're] a mother, you’re supposed to leave your sexuality’ behind

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Jenna Dewan is strategically nude on the cover of Women’s Health and in the editorial. I’ve turned off the ads in this post because advertisers don’t like that, but it obviously sells print copies, as does talking about sex and sexuality. If you want to see Jenna’s gorgeous booty you’re in luck because they have a faraway photo of her from behind on their site. (Sidenote: Her trainer is JJ Dancer, who some awesome workout videos through Popsugar Fitness. Maybe if I did them more consistently my ass wouldn’t be so flat.) Anyway Jenna is talking about her divorce from Channing Tatum and about the fact that she gets mom shamed on Instagram. This seems to be inevitable for anyone famous who posts there, especially when kids are involved, but it also dovetails nicely with what I assume is her new image. She’s single, sexy, empowered, she has a goddess circle and a message about women being self actualized and supportive of each other:

On nudity:
“I’ve been a dancer my entire life, so I’m used to little clothing. You lose a sense of modesty.”

On her past year, post-split from Channing Tatum:
“It’s been a journey, and it’s been a transformation of myself – my needs and wants as a woman. I think everyone wants to hold on to what’s in front of them, but when you open your mind saying, ‘I want what’s best for myself and my daughter,’ you have to be okay with however that looks. I feel like I’ve been on a wave of growth. It does look different; it’s a new normal, and I really think we’ll get used to that.”

On admitting her split has been far from painless:
“It’s always challenging to go through a big change and have the whole world have an opinion about it…It’s okay for a relationship to change into a new form that is actually better for both people involved, and I think maybe that’s what shocked everyone so much – that it can be a positive thing. That was ultimately what happened with us.”

On how she’s changed:
“I did a lot of work healing from the inside out, becoming more in touch with my womanly power. It was always ‘I’m a dancer,’ or ‘I’m married,’ or ‘I’m an actress.’ Over the last couple of years, it became about learning about myself.”

On critics mom-shaming her photos on Instagram:
“Apparently, when you become a mother, you’re supposed to leave your sexuality at the door, and I never understood that. I think there’s nothing sexier than becoming a mother. You give life. It’s everything. And you don’t change who you are inside just because you have a kid.”

On her goals at the gym:
“I really like to feel strong, and I like to feel curvy. And when I say ‘curvy,’ I mean ‘muscular.’ In the gym, I add more weight rather than increasing my reps because I want to build muscle, so I can pick up my daughter. Before, it used to be like, ‘I wanna get long, lean muscles.’ Now, I’m just like, ‘I wanna feel strong and good.”

On parenting 5-year-old daughter, Everly:
“I’m cautious not to always say ‘You’re beautiful’ or ‘You look pretty.’ I say those things, but I follow it up with, ‘You’re smart, you’re strong, you’re opinionated.’”

On wanting her daughter to appreciate sexuality:
“I want my daughter to see that and be like, ‘Wow, my mother was a fully actualized, sensual woman.”

On uniting as women:
“Women are so much stronger and more powerful, living in our goddess energy, when we come together to lift each other up rather than tear each other down.”

[From Women's Health received via e-mail]

It seems premature that she wants her five year-old daughter to see her sexy photos some day and appreciate what she was trying to do, but I think I get it. She wants Everly to know that nudity and sexuality aren’t shameful and are a normal part of being a woman. When my kid was five I was just trying to convince him that kindergarten was awesome and that he should keep going. This kind of reminds me of Olivia Munn’s talking point for a couple of years when she kept saying variations of “you can be sexy and smart.” I don’t think many people were telling her she couldn’t be those things at the same time, I just think she wanted to portray that image and was mentioning it repeatedly. So Jenna is a sexy mom. Got it.

And we change! new outfit….!!!!! 😉💜

A post shared by Jenna Dewan (@jennadewan) on

Happy day everyone 😊

A post shared by Jenna Dewan (@jennadewan) on

Women’s Health photos by Dennis Leupold received from Hearst promotions. Other photos via Instagram/Jenna Dewan

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38 Responses to “Jenna Dewan: ‘When [you're] a mother, you’re supposed to leave your sexuality’ behind”

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  1. mela says:

    she is thirsty

    and its really obvious she has implants based on her recent beach photos, i was dissapointed to see that.

  2. savu says:

    BuzzFeed had a great point about how people mostly drool over that cover, and then an insta of Chrissy Teigen breastfeeding gets shamed. I think that’s a little too generalized for me (as if there are 0 shaming comments about a naked cover) but it was a pretty stark example of how lots of people seem to see women in this world.

  3. Natalia says:

    I like her and I liked the article and what she had to say. My mother certainly didn’t raise me the way she wants to raise her daughter. I think it’s going to be interesting in 20 years to see how all these little girls grow up in to young women. It can’t be anything but mostly good compared to the way my generation and even my daughter’s generation had it.

  4. Jane says:

    I appreciate what she wants to say, but this is a very specific kind of sexuality. She’s completely hairless and made-up, and her photoshoot is a happy medium between what men would find sexy and the athletic look women are told to aspire too – as in, ideals most people can’t reach.

    Then she’s packaging all of this up as sexual empowerment for mothers. It’s all so disingenuous. You could put the same photos in Esquire or Maxim’s hottest women’s list, and they would fit right in.

    • Otaku fairy... says:

      It can be sexy AND empowering to her. It’s not disingenuous for her to admit that not being sexually modest as a woman is empowering. The real problem is that women are not allowed to make statements like that without being dismissed as lying, brainwashed temptresses. Only the women who would feel ‘so, so degraded’ (hmm, why is that?) by such a thing have been allowed a voice, and there are reasons for that. None of those reasons are good.

      • Jane says:

        She can find this empowering, but it’s not as if it can’t be linked to the fact that she fits the stereotype of a ‘hot’ woman. Whether that should make her feel empowered or not, knowing a look like that is used to degrade and embarrass other women, is something she could think about,

  5. Babs says:

    She is beautiful. I’m seriously considering cutting my classic lenght into a bob. Hers is so fresh!
    I disagree with her though. I feel the opposite, like there is a pressure for women who are mothers to stay sexy and desirable and sexually active 7/7 and they are looked down when they say the only bed action that they crave is snoring to death. But maybe that’s just me. Or maybe we just cannot win.

    • lolamd says:

      I agree. I am so tired with just one child. However my husband expects me to stay sexy and sexually active.

      • Megs says:

        This! I’m just physically so tired with my kids, I try to think I’ll get that part of myself back when the youngest starts sleeping through the night🤞

      • I’m With The Band says:

        YES. THIS. I have a 4 year old, work full-time, do all drop offs and pick ups and most dinners and pretty much keep the wheels turning in this house on a daily basis, with very little rest. I’m fecking exhausted all the time and hubby wonders why I have no mojo? Granted, he works long hours, but he gets more rest than I do. I crave sleep. I don’t crave nookie (#ohmygodwhathashappenedtome)

    • Dazeem, Adele says:

      I totally agree with you guys. Between my job, my responsibilities at home, my kids, my (occasional) self care like time at the salon (to cover up grays because children) I feel like I forget about my sexuality and fall into bed at night, exhausted. And my husband has sexual expectations (no shade, but it’s life) and I wish I had that energy and free mind space to think about sex, but honestly, it’s like item number 123,456,789 on my daily to do list.

  6. Happy21 says:

    Meh. Not sure why but I find that her thirst outshines any sexiness she may have. Girl has a bangin’ bod I’ll give her that but I don’t find her the least bit sexy. She tries too hard.

  7. HeyThere! says:

    She looks amazing. I will say, as a mother myself, we are suddenly only suppose to be modest and obsessed with mothering. I mean, I’m in love with my babies but there is more to me than being someone’s mom. Screw that. Mothers are sexual beings!! I mean, how do you think that baby got here?!

  8. Cupcake says:

    This is about HER. Her journey as a mother and a woman navigating after a divorce. She’s a dancer, a model, a Hollywood actress. Her body is her money maker, she has chosen a path that objectifies her body for money. I do not identify with her at all. I like the goosip though.

  9. Stubbylove says:

    A hot, naked chick on the cover of a magazine sells. Talking about female empowerment, her journey, being a dancer, sexy mom, etc. are fillers for her being naked. Nothing wrong with it but let’s be real here – it sells mags – bottom line.

  10. Laura says:

    I look EXACTLY like Jenna when I’m naked…minus the “being in shape/gorgeous” part 😂

  11. Angie says:

    Well what she’s saying is a nice theory but as kids age the last thing they want is to see their mom as sexy. It might be what she wants but her daughter probably won’t like it. I have three teenage sons and they want me to be as boring as possible, it makes them feel safe i think. Maybe a daughter is different i don’t know, but I’m surrounded by teenagers and their parents and i haven’t seen it yet. she’s kidding herself if she thinks her daughter will love her sexy pictures.

  12. Sara says:

    I don’t get why people have a problem with this. Americans are so weird about nudity and sex. If she’s doing more publicity after her break up it’s probably because she’s under more pressure to earn her own income now that she’s going to be a single mom. Not everyone wants to live off of child support and alimony assuming she even gets it.

    Female modesty is such bs anyway. Women are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. No one would expect a Dad like Channing Tatum, Brad Pitt, or Chris Pratt to lose their sex appeal after becoming parents. Do we shame Dads for appearing shirtless or dating lots of women after a divorce? No. To expect children to be uncomfortable with their parents nudity or sexuality is a reflection of adults dysfunction. Kids don’t even HAVE sexuality! As long as you maintain healthy boundaries kids don’t even associate nudity with sex until they get much much older and by then they should be able to handle the facts about the birds and the bees.

    She looks amazing. More power to her.