Before Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoë Saldana had her (alleged) baby bump on display, she decided to bare all in Women’s Health U.K.‘s “Naked Issue.” The actress posed nude for the magazine’s September 2014 issue, which includes the kick-off of its Body for Life campaign and features the sci-fi actress exposing her unadulterated beauty — as well her vulnerabilities and insecurities.
When Saldana, like any of us, finds herself doing a double-take at her own reflection, “My first reaction is I breathe and I think, ‘I’m a woman. I’m 36. My body is changing,'” she says. “My body is less toned. I do look in the mirror and see things I don’t want.”
This type of thinking, she says, has come from years of being insecure in her own skin. “I wanted to please others more than I wanted to please myself, and I [would] find myself embarrassed to look in the mirror.”
However, with her firstborn on the way and a happy year of marriage to husband Marco Perego, Saldana feels she’s in “exactly” the right place. Her thoughts now regarding her former insecurities? “F**k it.”
“I do feel beautiful in a way that even when I was working out a whole lot, I sometimes didn’t,” Saldana says in the magazine. “Because there have been time that I was really slender and didn’t like that I sometimes looked a little too muscular and flat-chested. You’ll never be completely happy, so at the end of the day it’s like, just be happy regardless.”
And though the mom-to-be is keeping mum on the subject of her rumored arrival, she does admit to allowing herself to take it easy (and what better time to do so?). “This past year, I’ve started letting go,” she says. “I struggle with that. I love to be an athlete. My body dictated it as if saying ‘Slow the f— down!'”
“I’ve learned to listen to myself,” the star adds, “so whenever I don’t feel like doing anything that starts ‘I should,’ then I don’t.”