Aishwarya Rai might have covered up on her first day at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival; but on her second day in the French Riviera, the new mother made sure to show off the curvier figure that has been at the center of a heated controversy about motherhood and the female image in India.

On Friday, Aishwarya Rai attended the premiere of Cosmopolis dressed in a glittering Elie Saab gown from the designer's Fall 2011 Couture collection. The midnight-blue embroidered ensemble featured sheer long sleeves, a velvet floral applique at the waist and a pleated train.

Rai complemented her look with a box clutch, matching blue fingernails, glossy lips and loose waves in her hair.

The snug gown showed off the 38-year-old mother's curvier figure that she has embraced since giving birth to her baby daughter, Aradhya, in November. For her first appearance at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya Rai opted for a more covered-up look.

Aishwarya Rai's voluptuous new body might be a point of contention for those who think the beautiful former Miss World should drop the pounds and return to her pre-baby body. But Rai embraces her new image. Like many other mothers, she gained weight. Even with her celebrity status, Rai has said that she is in no hurry to drop the pounds. She simply wants to enjoy motherhood.

And Aishwarya Rai is anything but uncomfortable with her new curvy figure. The actress even took time at Cannes to address the criticism voiced over her weight gain. She emphasized how happy she is in her new role as mother and how the media scrutiny does not matter.

Whenever there is the wave of opinions, and I've always said this, it's the truth--I'm sure you will endorse it since you know the facts as well--the haters are a drop in the ocean, Rai said during an interview with NDTV on Thursday. There's that much more love, you know? So any kind of negativity in any case... it just doesn't stick, it just drops off, it doesn't matter at all.

There's so much love, people see the real picture, there's so much love for this blessed experience, she added. They've given me so much love throughout my career, throughout my life in the public eye, and at every phase. Like marriage, I used to joke with you, I kept saying, 'I was married for I think the next two years after I was married,' everywhere I was still being congratulated, I felt like a new bride.

And the same goes true for when I was pregnant, wherever I went. And now, the amount of love Abhishek and I and the family and Aaradhya have received, it's blessed to be in this place, and I can only take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone for all their love and good wishes and blessings. That's the real thing.

The rest of it is opinions, and they vary and it doesn't matter, added the actress. This is reality, this is who I am. I am a mother, and this [weight gain criticism] can happen and it happened with me, and that's fine! And that's life! I've never been the one who endorsed size-0 anyways. You guys speculated I was pregnant way before I was so many times! So it just goes to show that I have lived the real life in the public eye, and that continues. There are a lot of people out there that recognize that, see that, and share that energy with me, and that's what matters: reality.