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bitchy | Jessica Alba: ‘If you look at the Marvel movies… it’s still quite Caucasian’


You know how there’s this movement to reflect back on celebrities and gossip narratives from the recent past and try to learn how society, media and Hollywood f–ked over so many famous women? We’ve done it with Britney Spears, Megan Fox, Jennifer Lopez and more? Well, I kind of wonder if Jessica Alba is due for a review. People used to really hate her and treat her like a airheaded bimbo. Now she’s in her 40s, and the company she founded a decade ago, The Honest Company, has been valued at $1.4 billion. Jessica largely stepped away from acting to focus on the Honest Company and it’s been well worth her time. Alba covers the latest issue of Glamour UK, and this was one of the better interviews I’ve read this year? Some highlights:

Her ambition: “You have to be relentless. I don’t have a fear of failure. I have the opposite: I have a fear of, ‘If I didn’t try, [then] what’s the point?’”

Her transition from actress to mogul: “I approached it the way I approached Hollywood, which was that I just did it. I grew up in survival mode. It was almost sort of what I was born into. My parents didn’t have a safety net, they were living paycheck to paycheck. And so the mentality of ‘tomorrow’s not guaranteed’… For me, I was like, ‘I got to do everything I can to keep my head above water.’ I think because no one had any expectations that I would be successful, how could you fail? I wasn’t set up – no one was like, ‘Oh my God, you’re going to be…’ They were just like, ‘Here’s your life.’ And I was like, ‘This is some bulls–t. I want a better life than that. I don’t want to be in survival mode all the time.’”

Marrying Cash Warren when she was pregnant with Honor: “We eloped and I think I was nine months pregnant! It wasn’t planned. It was literally, ‘Honey, do you have anything to do this morning?’ And he was like, ‘No.’ So I said, ‘Should we go to the courthouse and get married?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah.’ And then I said, ‘Can we get waffles afterwards because I have a doctor’s appointment? Will you come to my doctor’s appointment?’ And that’s how it happened!”

The secret to marriage: “I think just over-communicating, not letting things build up for too long.”

The movement in Hollywood for more diversity is basically just business: “It’s a business initiative for people now that they realise how much money they can make. It’s something they care about, which is fine. How they get there really doesn’t matter. You’re like, “Great. Now you realise there’s a whole group of folks that you just frankly left out of the conversation because you just didn’t even see them. They were there the whole time.” And I guess it’s the people in charge. However they get there, it really genuinely doesn’t matter. I just think more for the younger people who are coming up, who are going to be our future leaders, it’s important for them to see the world on screen, or in stories, in the dreams that we create as entertainers; it reflects the world that they’re in.

Her thoughts on the Marvel franchises: “Even if you look at the Marvel movies – that’s the biggest driver of fantasy and what’s happening right now in entertainment, because it’s sort of the family thing – it’s still quite Caucasian,” she says before referring to when she starred in the Fantastic Four Marvel franchise in the ’90s. “I would say I was one of the few back in the day… And it was before Marvel was sold to Disney… but it’s still quite… more of the same.”

Feminism: “I’ve identified as a feminist since I could remember identifying as anything. I believe that women should be equal to men. And so does my dad. My dad’s a feminist, too.”

She’s frustrated by the sorry state of American maternity rights: “That is why a lot of women fall out of the workforce because there is no real support system in our country. And there’s a ton of guilt and shame and bias, people in power who just simply have no idea what it’s like and what’s going on.”

[From Glamour UK]

I’m sure people will be mad about her Marvel answer. But… she’s not wrong? Obviously, Black Panther is a huge deal, as is Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson. I liked The Eternals too, that was a cool, inclusive cast. But yeah, Marvel is, historically, very Caucasian. Kevin Feige knows it too, which is why there is currently more of an effort to increase diversity in front of and behind the cameras. I like her answer about how the diversity that’s happening now in Hollywood is mostly about money, about studios seeing the chance to widen their market, but in the end it doesn’t matter because people deserve to see themselves represented on screen.

Cover & IG courtesy of Glamour UK.


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