"I don't think that you have to start dressing a certain way when you're a certain age or just because you're a mom," Menounos tells PEOPLE exclusively
Maria Menounos isn't standing for any mom-shaming.
The TV host — who welcomed a daughter, Athena, with her husband Keven Undergaro in July — co-hosted the Miss Universe pageant over the weekend in a revealing two-piece number by Celia Kritharioti that put her rock-hard abs and toned arms on display.
"As a mom, I'm covered in spit-up and overfilled diapers all the time now. Though I love every second of it, I also love embracing life as a woman, my strong, healthy body — and my youth — for as long as I have it," Menounos, 45, tells PEOPLE exclusively, shutting down any naysayers.
"My age doesn't define my fashion or anything," she adds. "I don't think that you have to start dressing a certain way when you're a certain age or just because you're a mom."
After going through ups and downs with her health, the Heal Squad podcast host says she was proud to show some skin.
"I think you should celebrate whatever you want, whenever you want. Life is so short, and we have to stop judging each other," Menounos says of any negativity she and other moms may face. "I've been working so hard to get and stay healthy. I've also been working on getting a strong body — especially a strong upper body to be able to lift and carry Athena."
After her hard work over the last few months, Menounos knew the bra top and matching skirt was the look for her.
"When I saw this dress, I thought there may not be a lot of time left in my life where I'll be able to wear something like that," she says. "So I decided to just go for it, and I'm so glad I did! My health has always been important to me, but having a little girl who will look up to me and who I need to stay healthy for is all the motivation I need."
Earlier this year, Menounos — who had been trying for years to become a mother — opened up to PEOPLE about her private battle with Stage 2 pancreatic dancer. Diagnosed in January, she underwent a successful surgery to remove a 3.9-cm. tumor.
Now, "I look at my body and I'm so grateful that it has triumphed through so many battles," she says. "As the Elton John classic says, 'I'm still standing!' I told, and tell, my body, my organs, all of my systems and all of my cells every night how grateful I am and how much I love it. I also say, 'Thank you for carrying me through so many health journeys.'"
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Read the original article on People.