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Salma Hayek: I shunned my curves

Salma Hayek resented being cast in "sexy" parts when she first started acting.

The Mexican actress is known the world over for her exotic looks and stunning figure. But the 48-year-old can recall a time when she wasn't as admired as she is today.

"When I was a little girl, kids used to pick on me because I was short, skinny, and really dark from always being in the sun," she told the American Marie Claire. "Later, when I got my curves, I was self-conscious. But on a trip to Europe one summer, I became aware of the power of the colour and the curves."

While Salma still didn't think she was beautiful, when she went to college she started to gain more confidence and realised she wanted to be an actress. After starting out in Mexican TV and film, she moved to the United States but soon realised that she wasn't securing the leading-lady roles she craved.

"I could only get parts that were 'sexy'. It was my way to get into movies, but I resented it a little bit," she confessed. "I wanted people to see that there was more to me."

Audiences got that chance when she starred in 2002 film Frida, about Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who wasn't considered beautiful.

With her career on the right path, Salma also found joy in her personal life, marrying French billionaire François-Henri Pinault on Valentine's Day in 2009.

"Today, my husband tells me I'm more beautiful than I have ever been," she smiled. "I don't know if that's true, but I've learned to be grateful instead of critical. And I have to thank my grandmother Maria Luisa because she taught me that you can help preserve your beauty by caring for your skin. Her advice is paying off."

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