updated 01/29/2010 AT 12:25 PM ET
•originally published 01/29/2010 AT 12:50 PM ET
Posing in Versace skirt and showing off her new brown hair, Nicole Richie looks every inch a fit and healthy mother of two.
In what should banish the near-constant chatter about her reputed weight issues, Richie appears a photo spread for the U.K. edition of March’s Marie Claire as a confident rock chick – even donning a leather jacket from her own “Winter Kate” collection for good measure.
But it wasn’t always so easy for the 28-year-old. And Richie slams those commentators who played up rumors of her problems in the past.
“I felt it was a little unfair to say someone has an eating disorder when they don’t. It’s extremely insulting and irresponsible,” she says. “An eating disorder is serious and it’s a disease. I don’t think you can lightly say someone has a disease unless they are openly telling you that they do.”
Richie credits motherhood with helping her get in shape post-birth. “I’m nursing and he’s a big boy,” she says of Sparrow.
Clearly happy and loving life as a young mom, “I’m just one to live in the present and enjoy the time that I’m having. Going into my past is just not something that I do,” she says. “Right now I’m just living my dreams.”