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Tiffani Thiessen talks body image and pressure to be perfect

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Tiffani Thiessen, former Saved by the Bell cheerleader and 90210 sex symbol, knows what it's like to strive for body perfection.

Recently posing for a revealing photo shoot for the website Me in My Place, Thiessen says that she wasn't always comfortable with showing skin--or how her body looked when she did.

“I think the older you get, it feels good that you can still do that little bit,” Thiessen told ABC News. “I felt the pictures turned out to be very natural and real and, you know, not overly pushing the whole half-naked thing.”

The pressure of upholding a stereotype

Her roles in '90s TV shows usually had her portraying a seductive young female, a stereotype that Thiessen says she felt pressure to uphold.

“I think any time you are on a hit show as a young actor or actress, you feel that way. Then as a woman, there’s some additional pressures you feel to look a certain way and be a certain size.”

But, she notes, she wasn't endowed with a model-like figure, and she had to put in the effort to stay camera-ready.

“I was not the girl that was a size 2 and didn’t work for it. I was never the waify model type,” she said. 

Thiessen also says that trying out to be a Bond girl at one point in her career became a devastating blow when she didn't get the role. But even after gaining 45 pounds during her pregnancy with daughter Renn, the actress says she's focused on parenthood, not necessarily getting skinny.

“I went to work six weeks later, so it was definitely hard,” Thiessen said about returning to her career with some extra weight. “But at the same time, I knew deep down that this was about her right now and it wasn’t about me.”

Source: ABC News