updated 11/04/2010 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/05/2010 AT 8:30 AM ET
Jessica Alba is a bonafide sex symbol, but that doesn’t mean she enjoys being everyone’s focus.
“I don’t like being the center of attention,” Alba says in the December issue of Elle magazine.
The actress, 29, considers herself “shy,” but says because of her acting career, she’s been able to break out of her shell. “When I do comedy, I lose all inhibition and introspection,” she explains. “I no longer care.”
Along with being shy, Alba has also felt insecure. “I’d been so afraid of criticism ever since I was young,” she says. “Every time I’d get a critique or some redirection, I’d always just take it very personally.”
Finally coming to terms with her fear, Alba says, “Now I have no problem with it.”
Along with her new-found confidence, Alba no longer settles for roles, but now feels comfortable standing up for the ones she believes are worth her time.
“The time I’m not spending with my kid has to be worth it, so when I sat down with my agents after I was ready to go back to work, I told them: It’s all about the directors.”