Becoming comfortable in your own skin is a process that everyone must go through, but for actor Jessica Alba, she had to unlearn that her body was only for the male gaze. Speaking at Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘In Goop Health’ summit earlier this week, Alba reveals that she was taught from an early age that her curves should be hidden to avoid sexualizing herself.
Like many young actors, Alba admits that she felt “preyed upon” by older men in Hollywood during her early years on set. Starting as a professional actor at age 13 and getting her big break the TV series Dark Angel, Alba says “I was meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men. 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 actor, who has been busy promoting her new police drama LA’s Finest with Gabrielle Union, added that her family often told her to not wear Pepe brand jeans, which would accentuate her “voluptuous booty.” “My mom would say, ‘You have a body, and it’s very womanly, and people don’t understand that you’re 12,’” Alba stated. “So, then I like created this pretty intense ‘don’t f— with me’ [attitude]. I had to create a harder shell about being a woman.”
The actress previously told Elle, “Older men would hit on me, and my youth pastor said it was because I was wearing provocative clothing, when I wasn’t. 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.”
Speaking on the Goop panel with Taraji P. Henson, Olivia Wilde and Busy Philipps, Alba said that it wasn’t until she became a mother that she was able to fully embrace her body.
Sharing three children with her husband Cash Warren, Alba said that becoming a mom was “the dopest shit I’d ever done.” It is pretty freaking dope. Alba said that motherhood enabled her to come “…into my body as a woman finally.”
Becoming a mother not only gave Alba the confidence to take back her curves, it also inspired her to start the Honest Beauty Company, which in 2017 was valued at just under $1 billion.
“Nothing about being successful in this business is easy,” said Alba. “And it’s really, really hard to even think that you have the possibility of being successful, because everyone is shutting every door in your face and telling you why you can’t. You can’t be bitter.”
That’s right. Don’t be bitter. Just start a hugely successful company and work whatever curves you do or don’t have for yourself.