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, who suffered pneumonia last November, gave birth to son Sparrow in September. She and her boyfriend Joel Madden already have a 2-year-old daughter, Harlow.
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."