Posing on Jane's "Naked" cover, the actress isn't caught up in body image issues

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 23, 2007 03:25 PM

When it comes to her looks, Eva Mendes is grateful for what she’s got.

“I’m thankful that I’m healthy and that I have my limbs and a nice physique,” the actress, 33, tells Jane for its August “Naked” issue for which she is the cover girl. “Of course, there are things anybody wishes they didn’t have or wishes [there] were more of, but why even bring that up? I think it comes off as bratty.”

Just being in Hollywood contributes to helping her maintain a good body image, says Mendes. “Once you start doing the red carpet thing, you can become very critical of yourself; it’s very easy. I was like, ‘I’m not falling into that.’ It’s just not healthy.”

She also finds it healthy to be comfortable with how she looks. During a recent visit to a Korean spa, she says, “There were all these beautiful Korean women bathing, being totally comfortable, no matter what type of body they had. I was like, ‘This is what it must have been like back in the Roman-bath days.’ And you feel like you’re all in it together, in a weird way.”

Not that she doesn’t have a junk-food favorite. “For some reason, tacos from Jack in the Box really do it for me. The combination of tacos and French fries, it’s heavenly. Throw an Oreo shake in there, and you’ve got a party,” she says.

Among other topics that Mendes touches upon is her family, with whom she enjoys a relationship as healthy as her body image.

“Now I realize that not all families work like [we do],” she says. “We’re loud, we yell, we get it out, then two minutes later we’re like, ‘Okay, what do you want to eat?’ ”

The one constant in her life, she also says, has been the unexpected. “I was a total accident, and I was supposed to be a boy. My mother had her ultrasound when she came from Cuba to Miami in the ’70’s, and the doctors told her, ‘You’re having a boy.’ I think it would’ve been cool if she had stuck with the name she’d picked out for me. You could be talking to Javier Mendez right now.”