"I made myself look more like a boy so I wouldn’t get as much attention."


Jessica Alba is getting candid about the struggles of being a young actress in Hollywood.

While visiting Gwyneth Paltrow's annual Goop Summit over the weekend, the mom of three revealed she was very aware of her curves as a 20-something trying to break into the industry, which was no easy feat. "I was meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men," the 38-year-old recalled, according to People. "Then I stopped eating a lot when I became an actress. I made myself look more like a boy so I wouldn’t get as much attention. I went through a big tomboy phase."

In goop Health Summit Los Angeles 2019
Credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

“In Hollywood, you’re really preyed upon,” Alba added. “They see a young girl, and they just want to touch you inappropriately or talk to you inappropriately or think that they’re allowed to be aggressive with you in a way.”

Not only did Alba attempt to control her outward appearance, but she also adjusted her mindset. “So, then I like created this pretty intense ‘don’t f— with me’ [attitude],” Jessica explained. “I had to create a harder shell about being a woman.”

However, Alba was self-conscious about her body even before working in film. Growing up, she was raised by conservative Catholic parents who were concerned about her attracting the wrong kind of attention from older men. “My mom would say, ‘You have a body, and it’s very womanly, and people don’t understand that you’re 12,’” she explained.

“I wasn’t allowed to have my nalgas out, which is butt cheeks [in Spanish], but I was born with a giant booty, and they come out of everything. So, I didn’t get to wear normal things that all my friends wore because my nalgas were out,” Jessica said. Particularly, her mother wouldn't let her wear popular Pepe jeans.

"Older men would hit on me, and my youth pastor said it was because I was wearing provocative clothing, when I wasn't," she said. "It just made me feel like if I was in any way desirable to the opposite sex that it was my fault, and it made me ashamed of my body and being a woman."

It wasn't until Jessica became a mother to her first daughter, Honor, 9, that she felt comfortable with her curves and stopped the cycle of shame.

“[After she was born] I was like, oh this is what these boobies are meant to do!” Alba exclaimed. “Feed a kid! And that was the dopest s— I’d ever done. So, I came into my body as a woman finally and I stopped being ashamed of myself.”