Scarlett Johansson Says She Was 'Protective' of Her Pregnancies, She 'Didn't Want to Feel Scrutinized'

"I wanted to be able to have my own feelings about my changing body without other people also telling me how they saw me, whether it was positive or negative," Johansson said in a recent interview

scarlett johansson
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Scarlett Johansson is opening up about her decision to keep her pregnancies private.

The Sing star, 37, is mom to 7-year-old daughter Rose Dorothy, whom she shares with ex-husband Romain Dauriac, and son Cosmo, whom she welcomed back in August with husband Colin Jost.

Speaking with Vanity Fair about her new skincare brand The Outset in an interview published Tuesday, Johansson shared how becoming a mom served as an "outset" — or a feeling of "reset" — for her.

"Obviously having children is the biggest life-changing thing. I have two children, [and] after having my daughter [Rose], it took me a long time to have that kind of new-beginning feeling," the actress shared. "I was so in it in that primary, preoccupied phase, where you're still connected to your baby. And then I went into work pretty quickly after that. I always felt like I was trying to keep up and create some sort of work-life balance, which I think is probably a lie."

scarlett johansson
Scarlett Johansson. Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Johansson continued, "It wasn't until my daughter was more independent of me, probably around two, where I rediscovered myself. I was like, 'What is most important to me in my life?' I felt like the work that I was doing and the choices that I was making personally should be intentional in a certain kind of way, where I didn't want to feel like life was happening to me. I knew more what I didn't want in my life and in my career."

Explaining her decision to be "so protective" over her two pregnancies, Johansson said she didn't "[want] to feel scrutinized in the public eye."

She added, "I wanted to be able to have my own feelings about my changing body without other people also telling me how they saw me, whether it was positive or negative."

It was during her pregnancy with Cosmo that she truly grasped "how much stuff people put on you when you're pregnant — their hopes or their judgment or their desire, a lot of that is put on pregnant women. I would have a lot of people saying things to me immediately, like, 'How great, oh my God, that's wonderful.' "

Johansson also noted that she faced criticism from other women while she was expecting.

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"While I was definitely excited to be pregnant in some ways, I also had a lot of not-great feelings about it, and that would be scrutinized by — I'm talking about, like, women that were close to me. You expect it from men, but from women, it's like, 'Come on, girl, you've been through it.' "

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"One friend, when I told her that I was pregnant — she knew I was trying to get pregnant — she was just like, 'Oh s---. Great, but not great.' And I was like, 'You're a true friend,' " she said, laughing.

She shared that though the "women's empowerment" movement has seen progress in recent years, "that thing remains sort of in the Dark Ages. So much judgment it's crazy."

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