BEYONCE "barely recognized" herself as she checked into hospital to give birth to her baby girl - because she had gained so much weight during her pregnancy.
The pop superstar packed on 50 pounds (22.68 kilograms) while carrying daughter Blue Ivy, who was born in New York in January (12), and she admits she felt anything but pretty at the end of her pregnancy.
Beyonce, who has just been named the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by editors at People magazine, says, "I didn't feel that I looked beautiful during birth - but who does? After being pumped with all those fluids and gaining so much weight, with my swollen lips and cheeks, I barely recognized myself.
"I tried my best to roller-set my hair, and I wore my (lip) gloss when I arrived at the hospital. I committed to the end and wore my kitten heels. It makes me laugh thinking about it.
"But after many hours of labour, I didn't care how I looked. It was all about the miracle that God gave me - the opportunity to deliver a human being."
Beyonce has managed to shed almost all of the weight she gained, although she reveals it's been a challenge.
She says, "I'm proud that my waist came back so fast... I had to get my tone back. I'm definitely softer. But I feel my body bouncing back. Whatever was tight and muscular, like my legs, I'm seeing it come back. You just have to work at it."
And she's keen to clear up some crazy rumors about her rigorous twice-a-day exercise schedule: "I'm a new mother; I don't have time for that. And no, I don't have a trainer living with me."