Being a 2000s "it girl" was not all it was cracked up to be.
There was a time in the early part of the century when Elisha Cuthbert seemed to grace the cover of every men's magazine, such as FHM, Maxim or Stuff. Although those magazines were well-known to over-sexualize women, actresses were essentially expected to take part in photo shoots.
"There was really no option back then," Elisha, 39, said on the "Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson" podcast. "It's not like I won an Olympic medal. It was just some list some random magazine decided to create. When someone reads my bio, those things come up. They actually don't mean anything in regards to me as a person or my career."
"The Girl Next Door" star said film studios pushed for female stars to do magazine centerpieces. In fact, it was pretty much the norm.
"We kinda ended up in a space at the time where that was really happening. I mean, Halle Berry was doing it, for God's sake … Jennifer Aniston was doing it," she continued. "We were probably too young to be subjected to that, and feeling pressured to do that."
The mother of two is already preparing for her children to see the mag covers one day.
"This is what I have to explain to my kids," she said. "This weird, bizarre outfit and hair extensions. And you know what's so crazy? I don't even know how much of those pictures are even accurate as far as, like, airbrushing … I was in my early 20s. I didn't look bad, but did I look that? I don't even know if the fantasy's real."
Still, Elisha admits that she was caught up in the fanfare of the men's magazines.
"If I can take what I know now about having two children, and going back, I would be so much kinder to myself. Luckily, I didn't have any eating issues or anything like that, but I definitely got caught up in that wanting to live up to what everyone was expecting of us, which is [to be] the 'hottest woman in the world.' It's like what? I'm an actress. I'm not Gisele [Bündchen], what in the world? I'm 5'2" with little legs and height. It was kind of ridiculous," she said. "I feel like there's better ways to filter that those times of the FHMs … that was so crazy … Living up to these ridiculous standards, it's just not reality."