‘I’ve never dressed to attract sexual attention’
Christina Ricci Opened up about her first marriage, how motherhood helped her break out of a nihilistic streak, and why she tried to avoid tabloid attention to her looks as she transitioned from child star to young woman.
“I didn’t enjoy it,” the actress, now 42, said Sunday Times Style Paying attention to her changing body. “I’ve never dressed to attract sexual attention, because I’ve always felt that kind of attention too terribly.”
As he hits adulthood, The Addams Family star — who will appear in Netflix’s new on wednesday series – leans towards bigger roles to match a “feral and wild” lifestyle. Looking back, Ricky sees that period as a “reaction” to his “chaotic” upbringing. Although Mermaids The star, who has been estranged from his father since he was a teenager, has not shared many details about his family, he says times that he “grew up in a very chaotic home.” As the youngest of four children, he learned early on how to use his precociousness to his advantage. “My ability to be adorable can blow things up or confuse people,” she notes.
Being “emotionally attached” as a young man helped propel his career. But over the years it became “exhausting” and so Ricky learned to tune out his feelings.
“I just felt no passion, no care,” she says “I made a lot of important decisions completely mindlessly, which later turned into problems – so, note to someone, don’t make important life decisions when you’re going through a period of nihilism. But really it was a reaction. It was exhausting to be so upset and in pain all the time. .”
The birth of her son Freddie eight years ago changed everything.
“The birth of my son really shattered my nihilism and it was a pretty amazing change,” she says. “I thought I would really love him and feel a lot of passion for him. I didn’t realize it was all or nothing.”
Freddie’s father is Ricky’s first husband, James Heerdegen, whom she accused of physical and emotional abuse after she obtained a restraining order last year. Although Ricky is uncomfortable talking about those marriages, he addresses his struggle to see them for what they were.
“Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but it took me a long time to accept what was going on, what to call it,” said Ricky, who welcomed a daughter with second husband Mark Hampton last December. “Denial is very powerful. Of course you don’t want to accept that the worst possible thing is happening and you’ve put yourself in that situation. So it took me a long time to realize that.”
Beyond its emotional pain, the split also took its toll on Ricky’s finances, forcing him to sell some of the Chanel handbags he had collected throughout his career.
“Some of the traumas in life are financial trauma, extended court situations, custody situations, fighting restraining orders,” she says. “Having said that, I’m doing absolutely fine, no problems. But I’ve learned to use these investment pieces in different ways. I also have a Chanel fine jewelry collection that I put to good use.”
With a new husband, new baby and an Emmy-nominated role yellow jacket, Ricky is looking forward, not looking for mercy.
“I think it’s important to say that I don’t feel like a victim in any way,” she says. “I don’t feel sorry for myself. I don’t want to say, ‘Well, it’s been a really tough road for me.’ Everyone has their personal issues, and mine has been, and it’s been about finding my own self-worth and position and strength and power.
“I tell my story only because I know that, even after being in the situation I was in, I searched for stories of success, stories of people who could get out, overcome it and be okay. And so the truth is that now I am this I’m in a place where I’m better than OK, that’s my motivation to be honest about it. I’m not ready to talk about it in depth today, but I think it’s important that we have examples from other women – as scary as it is, yours. The only choice is to change life and save yourself.”
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