Jessica Alba said she was "meant to feel ashamed" if she tempted men

By Aili Nahas
May 21, 2019 09:28 PM

Jessica Alba has revealed her struggles with body image and how she was made to feel like she had to police her curves both as a pre-teen and as a young actress.

Now a successful entrepreneur and actress, Alba, 38, says she even changed her appearance to avoid attention from men who “preyed upon” her in Hollywood.

“I was meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men,” the entrepreneur revealed on a panel with Gwyneth Paltrow at the In Goop Health summit in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 18. “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 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.”

“So, then I like created this pretty intense ‘don’t f— with me’ [attitude],” Alba added. “I had to create a harder shell about being a woman.”

Jessica Alba
| Credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty

Alba says she became very body conscious even before breaking into Hollywood as her conservative family restricted what she wore growing up as she had a curvy figure as a young girl.

“My mom would say, ‘You have a body, and it’s very womanly, and people don’t understand that you’re 12,’” the star 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,” says the 38-year-old Honest Company founder. “So, I didn’t get to wear normal things that all my friends wore because my nalgas were out.”

RELATED: Jessica Alba Shares Post-Baby Body Milestones: ‘When I Can Finally Put On a Pair of Jeans That Didn’t Fit!’

But the mother of three, who is married to Cash Warren, says her attitude changed after her first child, daughter Honor, was born nine years ago.

“[After she was born] I was like, oh this is what these boobies are meant to do!” she said. “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.”

On the panel, Alba was also joined by Taraji P. Henson, Olivia Wilde and Busy Philipps.

This was the sixth installment of In Goop Health and featured experts in the wellness field, as well as cutting edge therapies, installations and products in the wellness space.