"I think we all did at that age because we weren't inundated with societal messages or comparisons," Drew Barrymore says in an interview for InStyle.

By Jen Juneau
August 06, 2019
Helena Christensen/One Management

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — just ask Drew Barrymore.

The actress and Flower Beauty founder, 44, joins a bevy of fellow past InStyle cover-star women like Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek for the magazine’s 25th anniversary edition (on sale Aug. 16), where she talks about how her own take on beauty is manifesting in her children: Frankie, 5, and Olive, 7 next month.

“I felt the most beautiful right after the birth of my daughters,” says the former child star, who graced her first InStyle cover 20 years ago and would go on to do seven more over the years. “My 2015 cover reminds me to be bold and expressive and not too body-conscious.”

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“[My daughters] love their bodies at this point. I think we all did at that age because we weren’t inundated with societal messages or comparisons,” Barrymore adds. “I was built to have these girls, and I have never fallen prey to the Hollywood stigma about how a woman is supposed to look. That’s the dumbest thing. I love girls and women. They rule my universe.”

Barrymore’s successful resistance in conforming to a societally mandated aesthetic standard for women doesn’t mean the Never Been Kissed star hasn’t felt the pressure for perfection in her personal life, though.

“When I had my first daughter, Olive, I was terrified all the time,” she tells InStyle. “I wanted everything to be perfect. It’s the most high-wire, high-stakes, scariest, beautiful, important thing you’ll ever do. I couldn’t sleep or eat. I’ve never cared so much about anything.”

“I’ve got two daughters now, and they’re very different,” Barrymore says. “You realize this is about their journey, and you’re there to keep them safe, keep them laughing and help them figure out who they want to be.”

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“I still feel like I have so much to learn, but we’re having the time of our lives,” she continues, musing, “Maybe they’re just getting better, or maybe I am.”

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Barrymore admits she “still had so much to learn” about herself at the time of her first InStyle cover shoot in 1999, saying she “didn’t know who [she] was yet.”

“It’s cool if you can look at your life and be excited about where you’re going and where you’ve been,” says the Santa Clarita Diet alum. “If you can realize that you’ve f—ed up and made good things happen along the way.”

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“If you can reflect on bad romances or good romances, all of them fun,” she adds. “Seeing your life through photography, social media, fashion — it’s not supposed to look perfect. It’s supposed to reflect who you are.”

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