Jessica Simpson Used to Be Afraid of Horses, Until Daughter Maxwell Made Her Get Over It

As Jessica Simpson continues with her ongoing journey to sobriety, overcoming issues with body shaming, and processing the trauma from childhood abuse that she detailed in her memoir, Open Book, she often looks to her kids for inspiration. The mom of three  — Maxwell, 8, Ace, 7, and daughter Birdie, 2 — told Hoda Kotb in an interview on Today how they have helped her face some of her fears, especially Maxwell, who will turn 9 on Saturday.

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“We were doing a Jessica Simpson Collection photo shoot, and she wanted one of the horses that she rides to be in a shoot,” the singer, actor, and fashion mogul told Kotb, admitting that she’s been afraid of horses her whole life. “This was her way of (being) like, ‘I’m gonna make Mom ride this horse.’

“She was like, ‘Horses know that you’re afraid, Mom. And it’s not gonna relax until you put your shoulders down and breathe. And Mom, let’s just stand at the mountain and scream over the mountain.’”

Then, the mother and daughter yelled together, “I throw my fear over the mountain!”

“And then I went back to the horse, and Maxwell handed me the reins and gave me the lead,” Simpson said. “It was a beautiful moment. And I took the reins, and of course, the horse emptied out like four days worth of pee.”

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“I actually follow their lead in a lot of things,” Simpson told Hoda about how her children help her in her struggles. “They have so much innocence. And they haven’t had all the traumas and the dark stuff that we cling onto. And they’re actually capable of making better decisions than we are. My oldest, Maxwell, teaches me every day to surrender.”

Simpson’s personal essays about her self-discovery journey will be shared on Amazon Original Stories where she hopes they can help others face their own fears and learn to love themselves. Her first essay, “Take the Lead,” was released today. Amazon is also working on a reality and scripted series based on her memoirs.

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In regards to her struggles with body image and weight, Simpson is still navigating the issue, sharing she’s thrown out her scale but also had a box of Milk Duds for breakfast.

“I have no idea how much I weigh. I just want to feel good and be able to zip my pants up. If I don’t, I have another size. I have every size,” she revealed. “I’ve really tried my hardest to not let that define me.”

The celebrity mom says she is fine with being a work in progress.

“I think we should always be healing,” she told Kotb. “I think that in life, we don’t have it figured out, and that’s the vulnerable place that’s actually very beautiful.”

These gorgeous photos show moms who love their postpartum bodies.

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