Hollywood star Angelina Jolie says becoming a mother made her feel more secure and, for the first time, at ease with her looks.
"I know this is going to sound corny, but I first became happy with the way I look when I became a mother," Jolie told dailymail.co.uk in an interview while dispelling rumours of post-natal depression and marital rifts.
"There's this idea that beauty is when someone does your hair and puts a lot of make-up on you and sticks your face on the cover of a magazine. Is that beauty? You know what is beautiful? My mom (French actress Marcheline Bertrand) was beautiful to me, and I look more like my mom as I get older."
Bertrand died last January from ovarian cancer at the age of 56.
"Something else comes out of you when you become a parent and, as you get older, you start to see more character in your face. Now, when I look at myself, I just see somebody at peace, and I see a mom, and I see my own relatives in my face - and that's a kind of beauty that exists for everybody and doesn't disappear," the actress said.
Jolie has regained her figure since the birth of her twins in July.
"How did I get my figure back? Well, breast-feeding for a start. That and running around after six kids," said Jolie.
Jolie is set to return to the big screen with Changeling and says as a parent she found portraying a traumatised mother in the film difficult.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, Changeling is based on a true story and was, she says, the most harrowing role she has undertaken, causing nightmares and panic attacks. "I was wacko, emotionally, during this one. I just couldn't get the story out of my head."
Set in Los Angeles of the 1920s, the film casts Jolie as Christine Collins, a single mother whose nine-year-old son, Walter, goes missing while she's out at work.
After anxiously waiting for news of Walter for months, Collins is told that the police have found him safe and well. But when she turns up to collect him at the local railway station - with press on hand to record the event, and police officers desperate to extract positive publicity from it - she instantly knows that the boy, although physically similar, is not her son.
"It's harrowing to make it. During this film I was much more paranoid about my own children - where they were, what they were doing.
"I remember one weekend I'd taken a nap and Shiloh was asleep in her cradle, and when I woke up she was gone. I was freaking out. And nothing had happened - Brad had taken her and the rest of the kids to the park. But Walter's story haunted me. Throughout filming I was hugging the kids and keeping them close to me."
Changeling was filmed in California in August and September last year, just as Angelina and her partner Brad Pitt were thinking of trying for another baby, so the subject matter was particularly traumatic for them.
Denying rumours about post-natal depression and problems in her relationship with Pitt, she said: "There are things about me that are useful for people to read, and then there's stuff that's just silly. There are mistakes I've made, lessons I've learnt, which I'm happy to talk about. And I'd love to talk to other mothers about things I don't know how to do."
The actress said she plans to make a film titled The Mercenary: Love and Honor.
"I'm going to make the film in February, and after that I won't work again for another year. But it was hard even to decide that. I had a lot of discussions at home - can we balance things? Can mommy go to work? Can it be all right? Maybe I'll do a few months' work every year or so.
"Brad and I are trying to balance our lives so that we raise our kids properly, and we are also trying to make sure we are fulfilled - as artists, as people. When we get film offers, we have to ask ourselves, 'Will it be a good thing for the family?'"