Jessica Alba ''stopped eating'' so much so she wouldn't ''preyed upon''.

The 'Sin City' actress has spoken out about her issues with body image, and she admitted during her early days working in the movie industry she was urged by her family to hide her body from men.

Speaking at the Goop health summit in Los Angeles, the 38-year-old star said: ''I was meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men. 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.''

Jessica revealed her family told her not to wear jeans which emphasised her ''voluptuous'' body and ''booty'', while she explained how she felt ''preyed upon'' by men.

She added: ''Nothing about being successful in this business is easy. You can't be bitter.''

Meanwhile, she has opened up in the past about her insecurities as an actress because she didn't attend theatre school,haye but she has insisted she has more ''confidence'' in herself nowadays, which she says has helped her become ''successful in life''.

The Golden Globe award winner - who has Honor, 10, and Haven, seven, and Hayes, 16 months, whom she has with her husband Cash Warren - previously said: ''I even felt inferior saying I was an actress without being classically trained. It took me a while to find my confidence.

''I may not be the best actress ever, but do I have my moments? Definitely. And don't underestimate street smarts - all of that hustle and life experiences. You have to roll with the punches - that's how you're going to be successful in life.''

She launched The Honest Company - a consumer goods company that emphasises ethical household products - back in 2011, and has said she's only just begun labelling herself as ''smart'', because she used to believe that not having a ''conventional'' education made her less intelligent.

She added: ''When I was younger, I thought I wasn't smart. I didn't have a conventional or higher education. Now, after starting a business, I feel OK with identifying myself as smart.''