Jessica Simpson joked in a telephone interview today that she "couldn't wait" to pose naked for the cover ofElle at 170 pounds. "Normally I'm hoping to be 107 pounds and I don't eat, but" – in homage to the cheesecake pose, perhaps – "I ate cheesecake before we shot."
The set was closed: just Simpson; her fiancé, Eric Johnson; her publicist and a couple best friends. "I wasn't nervous at all," she says (at least, not until the night before it hit newsstands). "Normally, I'm so shy. I'm not the person you see photographed in a bikini on a beach. But for some reason, being pregnant, it's so easy for me. I feel so comfortable in my skin."
The response to seeing so much of her skin? "I'm glad people are reacting positively," says Simpson, 31, who stars as one of three mentors on NBC's Fashion Star, premiering March 13. "It's just really a celebratory moment for me."
She is anxious, however, for the finale to this pregnancy process – "for my water to break, for the day I get to go to the hospital and push. I'm more anxious than afraid. I have not been afraid the whole time. I figure if all these women all around the world can do it, I can do it."
And about that estimated 10-pound baby she'll deliver? "She's in the 90th percentile of weight right now, so she's a big un. She's going to be a very big baby, but I guess that's what I get for letting a baller knock me up."
And will Baby Girl's moniker be as nontraditional as, say, Cousin Bronx Mowgli's? Her mom won't say, but she does reveal that sister Ashlee's 3-year-old son approves of it.
"Bronx definitely loves her name, oh, yeah," says Simpson. "He talks to her in my belly all the time. It really makes your heart melt. He's already got a box of old toys he's put together" for her. Yesterday, he said he was going to teach her how to crawl and then how to walk. "OK, you can do that, Bronx," Simpson says. "It's so cute."