Parents

Maria Shriver's Touching Advice On Parenting, Beauty, And Embracing Your Inner Warrior

"It's okay to feel beautiful. It's okay to walk in your femininity. That's a great thing. Not at the expense of your mind, but you can do both."

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When Maria Shriver became a mom, she knew she didn't want to follow her own mother's parenting example.

"She was tough," Shriver told her daughter, Katherine Schwarzenegger, in an interview for The Huffington Post's parent-child interview series Talk To Me. "I loved my mom, but I didn't want to be like that," she added.

One way the former First Lady of California diverged from her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was her decision to talk to her daughters about dating and healthy relationships. "My mom never talked to me about anything," she explained. "Nothing. She didn't talk about sex, about guys, about hormones. She didn't talk about a thing."

Shriver also took a different approach to discussing beauty. "I tried to encourage your femininity, encourage your beauty," she told her daughter. "My mom was worried that I wouldn't be taken seriously if I focused on my looks. So anytime someone would come up to me and say 'Oh my gosh, you're so beautiful' or 'You have a beautiful daughter,' my mother would say, 'Your looks are gonna go. Concentrate on your brain.'"

But Shriver believes a woman shouldn't have to choose between being smart and strong and embracing femininity. "It's OK to feel beautiful," she said. "It's OK to wear makeup ... not at the expense of your mind. But you can do both."

Applauding the attitudes of her daughter's generation, she added, "You can live out your contradictions. You can step into your complexities."

Watch the full interview above for Shriver's thoughts on dating, wanting her kids to move home, and being "a warrior and a goddess."