15/05/2012 12:53 BST | Updated 15/05/2012 14:02 BST

Jessica Alba Reveals Being A Sex Symbol Made Her Feel 'Objectified And Uncomfortable'

Jessica Alba has posed in plenty of glamorous photo shoots, but the movie star has stunned fans by revealing that she felt "objectified" earlier in her career.

The 31-year-old U.S actress, who’s appeared in blockbusters such as Sin City and Fantastic Four, told Marie Claire: “I had a show [Fox’s Dark Angel] that premiered when I was 19. And right away, everyone formed a strong opinion about me because of the way I was marketed.

“I was supposed to be sexy, this tough action girl. That’s what people expected…I felt like I was being objectified, and it made me uncomfortable. I wanted to be chic and elegant!”

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The movie star said that these days she dresses for herself

These days, she’s much more content to blend in.

She told the magazine: “I like to get positive attention. But if I have a choice between someone noticing in a negative way what I’m wearing and going, What was she thinking? or someone not noticing what I’m wearing, I would rather not make a statement at all and just have a good conversation instead.”

When Ms Alba does dress up, she explained that she does it for herself, not any male admirers.

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Jessica Alba has said she used to feel objectified

She added: “Now that I’m older, I’ve learned how to own it, but I’m still not very overt. There are some women who dress for men. I dress for myself.

"It took me some time to get here. Being a mom and feeling grown-up have helped. Now if I’m going to wear something short, it has to have a high neck or a little sci-fi toughness to it, an edge.”

Jessica Alba appears on the cover of the June issue of Marie Claire, which hits newsstands on Tuesday, May 22nd.