As an actor, mother, loving wife and companion and founder of Honest Company, Jessica Alba is known as a vocal campaigner for female equality and social justice.
Alba’s debut film role was in the 1994 film ‘Camp Nowhere,” and she became a household name in James Cameron’s TV series ‘Dark Angel’ and the blockbuster ‘Sin City’.
The Latina star is styled by Tracy Taylor in images by Will Davidson for Porter Edit May 10, 2019. Sanjiv Bhattacharya conducts the interview.
Jessica Alba is a driven woman. The mother of three chidren: Honor, Haven, and Hayes, ages 10, seven and one years old, prepares to return to acting with a weekly TV show, ‘L.A.’s Finest’, created to launch the new Spectrum network, aka Charter Spectrum. Alba teams up with Gabrielle Union as buddy cops, in a spinoff the the ‘90s Michael Bay movie ‘Bad Boys’ starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
It’s a show that has “women doing cool and interesting things instead of just playing archetypes,” Alba says. Both Union and Alba are recent moms, so one minute they’re taking down bad guys and kicking ass, and the next they’re feeding their babies in their trailers. “I was like, ‘My kids are coming to set, and I don’t need anyone making me feel bad if they need to eat!’”
Jessica Alba pulls no punches on the topic of racism. Alba’s mom is white (part Danish, part French) and her father Mexican. Until Alba was 15, she grew up in her grandparents’ house in Pomona, a humble town east of Los Angeles. Alba is quick to clarify that she refers to her grandparents on her father’s side. The white side of her mother’s family disowned their daughter and grandchildren for marrying a Mexican. “They’re racist, basically,” she says.
Alba reminds us that the history of America’s racism touches mexicans, too. “[California] was completely segregated back then,” she says. “Mexicans had to drink from different water fountains. You only got to swim in the public pool on the last day, after all the white kids had been in there, just before they were going to drain it.”
The talented entrepreneur married film producer Cash Warren in 2008, and he’s had tremendous influence over her. ‘Honest’ – which she named after their child, Honor – is Alba’s brand of non-toxic products for baby, beauty and home. By 2016, Honest was valued at $1.7bn, and Alba was on the short list of America’s richest self-made women under 40.
Her 2016 acquisition by Unilever fell through, with. Unilever buying Seventh Generation instead. Alba doesn’t reference this history in her interview, except obliquely in talking about letting 80 people go in 2017 and increasing the number of women in senior positions of the company from 14% to 50%. Alba hired Clorox Company executive Nick Vlahos as CEO. Vlahos previously ran its Burt’s Bees subsidiary.
What’s important to understand here is that Jessica has been tested in life on multiple fronts and she is thriving. As tough and painful as some of these life lessons are, clearly Alba has the mettle to navigate rough waters.