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Pregnant Jena Sims Gets Real About Dealing With Body-Shaming, Being Labeled After ‘Full Swing’ (Exclusive)

As Jena Sims prepares to welcome her first child with pro golfer Brooks Koepka, she’s had to navigate online criticism about her body — and their marriage.

“I didn’t start showing until I was about six months because I am just a naturally thin person,” Sims, 34, exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, July 13, while promoting her partnership with the nonprofit Baby Quest. “There are so many times that I would just tell people I’m expecting and they’re like, ‘Where’s that baby? No, you’re not,’ [and it felt] like I had to prove something, and that’s, almost like a form of body-shaming.”

She added: “Your expectation of how my pregnancy should look or how I’m supposed to carry is not my responsibility. … Because my husband is already in, like, such a public spotlight, we are under a microscope.”

Sims and Koepka, 33, have been together since 2017 after crossing paths at the Masters Tournament two years earlier. They wed in June 2022 and announced in May that they are expecting their first baby. Sims, who is currently 7 months along, further told Us that she has been “very protective” about her pregnancy and what she shares online.

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“I know everyone is like, ‘Just get ready for the unsolicited advice, everybody has an opinion on what I should be doing [and] what I shouldn’t be doing,’” she explained on Thursday. “And then the other people, because I can’t travel with Brooks, they’re telling me that I’m a terrible wife ‘cause I can’t be there to support him. I’m literally taking care of myself … but at the end of the day, I just have to do what’s right for me, and if the doctors aren’t concerned, I’m not concerned.”

Pregnant Jena Sims Gets Real About Dealing With Body-Shaming, Being Labeled a 'Gold Digger'
Jena Sims John Nacion/Shutterstock

Sims — who flaunted her baby bump at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit runway show earlier this month — also is not concerned by haters calling her a “gold digger” for marrying a professional athlete.

“People take one look at me and they want me to be a gold digger so bad. They want it so badly and it just couldn’t be further from the truth,” she said after the couple were showcased on season 1 of Netflix’s Full Swing. “I’ve never quit working. I work even harder now that we’re married. I have so many irons in the fire.”

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She continued: “It annoys me to no end that just because I have this personality and I share my life on Instagram and I travel with him and we do extravagant things [and] they just want [to] judge a book by its cover and that could not be further from the case.”

In fact, Sims and Koepka’s marriage has only gotten “better” amid her pregnancy. “Not that we were ever in a bad place … but we work so much more as a team now,” the model gushed. “Like, Brooks is so excited [to be a dad]. Like, he treats me differently — in a very good, loving way. It’s like, ‘Oh my gosh. His kid is in there.’”

In addition to prioritizing a healthy pregnancy and marriage, Sims has teamed up with Baby Quest, which is an organization that helps expectant parents cover the costs of IVF, surrogacy, egg and sperm donation and egg freezing.

“Baby Quest is basically funding [and] grants for women who are trying to make a baby, whether it’s through IVF, it helps cover some of their medical costs or someone who’s single or just same-sex couples and someone who’s just unable to do so,” Sims explained. “That foundation is now near and dear to my heart and I hope we raise so much money to help women be able to make their own babies one day!”

Pregnant Jena Sims Gets Real About Dealing With Body-Shaming, Being Labeled a 'Gold Digger'
JLN Photography/Shutterstock

Sims initially got involved with the organization when she teamed up with jewelry designer Mignon Gavigan to create her own collection of their wing-shaped earrings — with a “charitable” twist.

“I was like, ‘Oh, I would love to but let’s make it [with] a charitable element to it ‘cause they’re wings. Let’s do it in support of women who are suffering pregnancy loss [or] infertility,” she recalled to Us. “So I reached out to a friend of mine, Katrina Scott, who has been very public with like, her journey with IVF and I was like, do you know any charities that would be good to benefit from something that I’m doing? And she introduced me to Baby Quest and we actually just had a brunch luncheon event in LA and raised money for that charity.”

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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