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Don’t be confused by Zoë Saldana’s glamorous red carpet looks–in real life, the star of Avatar and Star Trek isn’t exactly a girly-girl:

She says in the May issue of SELF, which we caught her shooting the cover for back in January (GALLERY: Zoe Saldana Hits The Beach For New Photo Shoot),

“I’ve never really been that feminine. Look in my closet and you’ll see things that are elegant, sexy, tomboyish, sophisticated, beautiful, aggressive. It’s harsh. It’s a lot of black. Pretty is the last word you would think of.”

The 31-year-old cover girl has held her personal fashion preferences since her childhood growing up in the Dominican Republic.

“The Caribbean is the most floral-happy culture in the world, and my sisters and I were like three little Jackie O’s with big sunglasses, reading all these sophisticated magazines and dressed in black at all times,” she says.

But that’s not to say the actress doesn’t occasionally enjoy playing dress-up.

“These florals [I’m wearing] tell a story… I was channeling that South Beach-looking-for-a-millionaire-husband-from-Switzerland kind of thing. I live in constant storytelling mode,” she says of a hot-pink strapless confection she wore during the shoot. “Sometimes, I have to give myself permission to be pretty.”

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