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Tiffani Thiessen Opens Up About Body Image, Career

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Tiffani Thiessen made a name for herself playing popular high school cheerleader Kelly Kapowski in the hit 1990s sitcom Saved by the Bell, but the actress is now all grown up.

In a revealing a photo shoot for the website Me in My Place, Thiessen, now 38, poses in her shirt and underwear.

“I think the older you get, it feels good that you can still do that little bit,” Thiessen told ABC News’ Abbie Boudreau of her nearly two decades as a sex symbol.

“I felt kind of superwoman-esque, feeling like I could go out and do that and not feel like I had to be fixed afterwards,” she said.  “I felt the pictures turned out to be very natural and real and, you know, not overly pushing the whole half-naked thing.”

In the interview accompanying the photo spread, Thiessen, who also starred in the iconic 1990s teen drama Beverly Hills: 90210, opened up about the sex symbol status she had early on in her career.

“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.

“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, now starring in the hit TV series White Collar, revealed to Boudreau she gained 45 pounds while pregnant with her daughter, Harper Renn, who’s 2.

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

“I know my husband says this to me, that I’m sexier as a mom than I was before,” she said.  “And how does that not feel good?”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio