Salma Hayek: 'Hollywood's exploitation of women works both ways'

69th Cannes Film Festival - Women in Motion Gala Awards - Arrivals Featuring: Salma Hayek Where: Cannes, France When: 15 May 2016 Credit: Pat Denton/

Actress Salma Hayek knew exactly what she was doing when she took Hollywood roles based on her looks.

The Mexican beauty, who has appeared in blockbusters like From Dusk Till Dawn and Desperado, secured many of her early roles thanks to her looks, but Salma insists she didn't feel exploited because she always had a plan in motion.

"I think we used each other," she said as part of the Kering Women in Motion panel at the Cannes Film Festival, according to Britain's The Telegraph. "They used me? No. They used me, but I said, 'OK, OK, let's go!' It was the maid or the sexy girl. That's as much as I can say.

"It's a process: you (filmmakers) are using me for that, but I'm going to use it to change your own way of thinking. And you won't even notice."

The 49-year-old certainly stuck to her guns and eventually found herself playing the lead in acclaimed biopic, Frida, for which she received Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations, but despite her success, Salma still faces criticism from feminists for the way she dresses.

"People say, 'You are a feminist, why is your dress tight? Why is your skirt so short? You are doing the objectifying of women (sic)," she continued. "It depends. Because if today I decide to wear the cleavage like this, you do it from a different place. It's not because I want to let anybody touch me. But why not celebrate who we are as women and our sensuality?"

And Salma insists she's not about to change for anyone: "You have to have the joy to celebrate all the little parts that we have, and that doesn't make me less of a feminist. It just doesn't make me as angry and guarded and a victim."

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