Drew Barrymore on Her Mom-Bod: ‘I Would Much Rather Have My Kids and Look a Little Worse In a Bathing Suit!’

10/21/2015 at 12:00 PM ET

Drew Barrymore opens up about the lessons she learned throughout her troubled childhood and how she finally found her happily ever after. Subscribe now for this exclusive interview, only in PEOPLE!

Drew Barrymore likes to exercise. But it’s not to have that Hollywood body-after-baby.

Finding time for kickboxing, yoga and doing the elliptical a few times a week “is more for mental,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “I never looked good in a bathing suit, so now I look worse in a bathing suit. I have cellulite. But I would much rather have my kids and look a little worse in a bathing suit!”

While life as mom to Olive, 3, and Frankie, 18 months, keeps her on the go, Barrymore says she was at first conscious of losing the baby weight.

“I tried to go gluten-free because I thought it would help me lose weight,” she says. “It did no such thing. And I was just unhappy.”

Drew Barrymore postpartum depression
Dave Benett/Getty

Now her priorities have shifted. “It just isn’t at the forefront of my mind,” she adds. “I took my pants off last night and looked at the back of my legs and was like, ‘Oh f—, seriously? This is … God!’ ”

Drew Barrymore motherhood Wildflower

Her husband, art consultant Will Kopelman, “is the most complimentary person ever. I think that’s really important for women to have someone who really makes you feel good about yourself because that would be a giant disadvantage to your process of making babies or just being a woman in general to have someone make you feel like you had to be a certain way to turn them on or to be beautiful in their eyes,” the actress adds. “Be it complimentary or uncomplimentary, it really swings the pendulum vastly in each direction.”

Now Barrymore is happy exactly the way she is. “It’s maintenance,” she says. “Having a hot body is just not my thing. I care a little, I don’t care a lot.”

Drew Barrymore people cover

For more of our exclusive interview with Barrymore — in which she reveals her own memories of childhood and the happiness she’s found as a wife and mother — pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

— Julie Jordan

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 13 comments

cj on

I love how she articulates this problem of being a mom and still being seen as an attractive sexy person for your significant other. Very well sad about her own body image and that bodes well for her daughters well-being as they grow into teen years.

Rebeccah on

So sick of these celebrities who have kids and then start shaming women whose bodies have not been through childbirth. Kids are not the be all end all for every woman. This is just as bad as fat shaming or skinny shaming.

dancer92136 on

Love her and she is 100% correct. I wouldn’t trade my children for the world….just because I feel that way doesn’t mean I am shaming people that don’t have children, and Rebeccah neither is Drew. She is NOT shaming anyone for not having children.

Anonymous on

I hate to tell her this, but having a hot body is part of her job as a movie star. But she’s a great example of someone who has her family name to rely on, so it really doesn’t make a huge difference for her if she’s skinny or not. She’s under a totally different set of rules.

Jo on

I don’t see her shaming anyone at all. What I get from it is her saying that even though having her children has changed her body, she wouldn’t go back and change anything just to have a nicer body.

I have two children, two c-sections. My back isn’t the same, I have varicose veins, and my bladder isn’t what it used to be. I don’t care. I wouldn’t change anything either!

Valarie on

Very happy that she is a mature woman and is mature about her body image, kudo to her.

Jinxi Richow on

God bless Drew for discovering the benefits of parenting and providing a loving family environment. Family can be an incomparable force for good and healing, producing a tranquility best experienced to be understood. What Drew missed in her youth she now lovingly provides.

Tonja on

She looks great to me! I’m happy she’s found the happiness and stability that she never had in her childhood.

Rose on

One of the most perennially likable actresses in Hollywood. Another poster called her sharing her own experience “body shaming”, which shows these women just, can’t win. She’s just telling her experience. She’s talking about how nice it is to have someone who really loves you, being supportive in life.

Drew has been routinely honest about her life and I commend her for not trying to glamorize how hard it was to be a little child growing up in an adult party world. She wants the opposite for her girls because she knows better.

Keep telling The Truth with kindness, Drew. You won’t regret it.

Anonymus on

From this picture, she looks great, no weight problem at all.

Savannah on

Nothing but love for this girl! Love, love, love her. She’s honest in such a relatable way. She’s lived a fascinating life… Just love her!

Lee on

Keep up the good work, Drew!

Sofiyah PICO PICARD on

HI DRew , the standard of body health after pregnancy , the tommy talk etc all that its take . That SHOULD AD BEEN , yes STANDARD.
after our last meeting , The publicity was that you take vacation with the kids with us . The problem is the KIDS lea israelle as not return to me wet.
have you work before with GABRIEL BYRNE ? i see you soon in never been KISS . You are important TO ME . We will set our ballets shoes on soon. peace ambassadrice Sofiyah 514 880-7634