Kate Upton

Daniele Venturelli/Venturelli Daniele/WireImage

It's been just over a year since Kate Upton and Justin Verlander welcomed their first child, Genevieve. In a new feature for Editorialist, the 27-year-old model opens up about motherhood and the lessons that she's learned from it.

"Having VeVe has changed my life in such a wonderful way," Upton tells the outlet. 

For starters, Upton is learning to be less hard on herself, especially when there is "so much pressure" in the first few postpartum months "to be doing all these things, like breastfeeding on the go—when the reality, for me, was that breastfeeding was sucking the energy away from me."

"I realized I needed to calm down, to allow my body to recover," she says.

She's also trying to embrace life's little moments and not get pulled away by daily distractions, like social media.

"I want to be enjoying my life, enjoying my family, not constantly trying to take the perfect picture," she says, adding, "I think my husband wants me to throw my phone away. We talk about it in the house all the time: 'Let's have a phone-free dinner.' We don't want [our daughter] thinking being on the phone is all that life is."

After all, Upton says connection, not perfection, is what's important.

"Women are bombarded with this push to be perfect all the time," Upton tells the outlet. "We went from Photoshopping covers on magazines to Photoshopping our everyday lives —you know, a picture of you at the grocery store. It's getting more extreme, literally people changing their face with plastic surgery. The industry has to be the trendsetter, to show there's more than just having the perfect brand or messaging. We don't need that in our lives. We need connections."

Kate Upton

Gilles Bensimon for Editorialist

This authenticity is something Upton has embraced throughout her career. Whether she's posing for an unretouched cover, clapping back at haters or just dancing like nobody's watching, Upton isn't afraid to be her true self.

"How do you shock people?" she asks. "It's by just being yourself."

To read Upton's full interview, check out Editorialist.

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