Raquel Welch: Being a Sex Symbol Felt Like a Prison Sentence

Actress Raquel Welch was the ultimate sex symbol thirty five years ago, mostly thanks to her role as a scantily clad cave woman in the 1966 camp classic "One Million Years B.C." Today, just a few months shy of her 70th birthday, Welch is no less of an iconic beauty.

But if you ask her about her looks, Welch might surprise you with her thoughts on her sex symbol persona. In fact, she equates her sex symbol status to being incarcerated.

“I was feeling very much as if I had been sentenced to sex symbol-dome, and I was locked in this image and couldn’t get out,” the star/author of “Behind the Cleavage” recently told Pop Tarts. “I thought that maybe they would let me out on parole if I was really nice and good but then all I had to do was do a misstep and it was back in the “not-really-a-person” thing. I was just there to look at and not to give anything else … the convict.”

Welch guesses that stars like Beyonce and Fergie are probably very fulfilled in their careers as they get to perform and partake in interesting roles in their field, however being famous just for your face and figure is well, pretty vapid.

“When you’re just a poster girl it’s such an empty, empty feeling, and even though people may admire you, it’s not for who you are. It’s not about you, it’s just about ‘her’ and that totally superficial kind of a look,” Welch continued. “I don’t think anybody wants to feel like that they’re just good because of having looks. It’s just very uncomfortable and rather sad.”

And even though Welch’s new book is aimed at getting the message across that she is actually a real person “Beyond the Cleavage” and that she actually has a real personality “underneath this so-called sex symbol and crazy, glamour Amazonian image” – we couldn’t help but find out what the secret was to that beautiful bikini body.

“Ten years of classical ballet was really what gave me the body. From age 7 to age 17 I was doing classical ballet every day of my life and the result of that was a very streamlined, very exceptional figure that I came away with,” Welch dished. “I thought I was going to be a ballerina, so I didn’t know that this reception to my physicality was going to be such that it took me off into a completely different direction.”