Jessica Alba opened up about her complicated relationship with her body, men and eating during a roundtable conversation at the “In Goop Health” conference in Los Angeles over the weekend.
“I was meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men,” the actress said during a talk with Gwyneth Paltrow and fellow actresses Taraji P. Henson, Olivia Wilde and Busy Philipps, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She said that because she had a “booty” and was “voluptuous,” her family forbade her from wearing certain items of clothing.
“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,” the 38-year-old added.
Alba said she felt “preyed upon” by men when she was first starting out in Hollywood.
“Nothing about being successful in this business is easy,” she said, later adding that “you can’t be bitter.”
Alba has spoken about the sexism she’s faced in both Hollywood and the boardroom ― she’s the founder of consumer goods company The Honest Company.
“But as a woman, as an actress, I’ve dealt with that before. I’ve dealt with people undermining me; I’ve dealt with people thinking that I would do anything to get ahead and be successful.”
While Alba has been primarily focused on her business the past few years, she told Good Housekeeping in 2017 that she would return to acting if she got to be “in control.” It seems her wishes were granted, as Alba joined forces with Gabrielle Union for the new TV show “L.A.’s Finest.”
Alba spoke about what it meant to her to helm the show with Union as two women of color, something she called “unprecedented.”
“Usually we’re the token something — girlfriend, bad girl, side piece. And women in the action genre are usually pretty one note,” Alba told Variety this month.
“We’re not saved by anybody. We’re the ones saving people. We got to be the action heroes, comedians, and a little sexy on occasion,” she added.