Superwoman Jessica Alba is one of the busiest women in Hollywood. She seems to have it all: the looks, body, brains, family and success. Jessica is supporting the brand new Braun campaign which is urging women to #breakfree from self-doubt and support each others achievements. Jessica has been named the new beauty ambassador for Braun being the perfect example of how one women can have it all.
I got the chance to sit down and chat with Jessica at the launch of the #breakfree campaign in Berlin last month.
1. You don’t represent a lot of brands, why did you decide to become the Ambassador for Braun?
It’s a really powerful force, women embracing women. Growing up I always saw my mom supporting people around her, doing little things for everyone. I wanted to show my daughters doing something that empowers one another, women supporting women can really have a strong impact. Social Media is so powerful and it should be used to spread good.
I’m asking women to say, show and share their support to female friends, family, colleagues sisters everywhere. Let’s give each other the confidence to break free from self-doubt and all walk that little bit taller. Think of a woman you admire today and tell her!” #breakfree
2. Your a celebrity, CEO and a mother of two. Many women feel the pressure of maintaining a work/life balance and often feel like bad mothers because they are trying to do it all! How do you do it and do you ever feel like a bad mother?
It’s about the quality of time you spend with your kids and I think the idea of what it is to be a mom these days for a modern mom and a modern women is totally different then it was. My mom worked when I was younger, not because she wanted to because she had too. Myself, I’ve always worked and its a part of me and who I am. It’s not something which should be looked at as a bad thing. The time I do spend with my girls is special time, it’s not just that we are in the same space, its engaged.
Acting doesn’t take up a lot of time, it takes up chunks of time, but its not a consistent thing. Sometimes I just work 8 days on a movie, sometimes I work 6 weeks, sometimes I work 2 days. So it really just depends, I am at my office a lot which takes up most of my time and then again I think trying to figure out a balance of my time so I do get quality time with my kids. If I know I’m having a lot of things to do in the evenings and my mornings are free then I spend that quality time with my girls. If I know I’m working a lot in the day, I try to get home for dinner or bath time and bed time and read books. So I make sure I’m home at night for that part.
3. Do you take your girls to the studio when you are working?
I bring the kids sometimes its boring for them. When they were little it was easier. I have a trailer and they come have lunch but then they want to go. They want to be home, they want play dates, they want to go to the park, they want to go outside and do stuff. They do gymnastics, dance class, music class and soccer they are very busy doing all their activities, kids stuff. So I have to find out to fit into their schedules (laughs).
4. You said once that you were a feminist when you were 5. Can you explain what that was about?
There is a video of me at Disneyland when I was 5 when I had a thick southern accent. I said I’m going to be an independent woman, I don’t need a man for anything. I’m going to have my own job, I’m going to make my own money and I had my hand on my hip. And I did it! I think I always wanted to have independence and freedom as a woman. And to me to be able to have financial freedom was important to me and I didn’t ever want to rely on anyone not my parents or grandparents not a partner not anyone. So it was always very important to me to be independent and that meant financially independent as well. I was working when I was quite young as well.
5. For many of us there is a lot of cultural stigmatization associated with choosing a career path. We have pressures to pursue conventional jobs such as a doctors or lawyers. What is your advice to those too afraid to follow their heart?
Fighting against cultural stigma is very difficult. I grew up with very cultural ideas as well. I grew up with the same pressures wanting me to be a doctor, lawyer maybe a teacher but something academic. That was a good job that was what everyone was striving to achieve working for a big corporation doing something that was a good job. Being an actor, that was crazy! Doing something creative, no one would support that at all! My mom did, my mom was cool but I was raised with my dads family.
My dad didn’t consider acting a real job until I was 18 and he came to set and hes like “Oh this is hard.” He used to think anyone can do it , it’s not a real job you’re just getting paid to have fun. He didn’t understand what it really took.
So I’ve had to pave my own way, I knew at the end of the day I wasn’t going to be happy fitting into what they wanted me to be. So I just kinda stuck to it. It’s hard to stick to it when you don’t have a lot of support. But if you look around, and try to find other like minded people you will find hope. Doors will open if you are open and your hearts open to it. Things will happen. I know its kinda philosophical, spiritual and weird but I’ve seen it, if your open to it and you really want it doors will open and its possible to achieve it.
6. Cosmetic surgery is becoming big all over the world. What is your opinion on it and do you think its okay for women to want to preserve their beauty?
I think everyone should do what they want to do, what makes them happy. I don’t think you should fit into someone elses idea of what they think it is. If it makes you happy to do something do it. No one else is in your skin and looks in the mirror everyday and wakes up in your body and your circumstances. So for me to go and make a broad judgement, yes its okay or no its not okay, it’s me being ignorant not understanding someone elses circumstance.
I want to preserve my youth, I use retinol cream to take away fine lines and smooth out my skin and shrink my pores for sure.
But is it the end of the world to have wrinkles and lines and things like that? No. Do I prefer for me more natural, yes I do. But who am I to judge someone who needs to alter something because they don’t feel comfortable. They should absolutely do what makes them happy.
Do you hope to win an Oscar one day?
Acting has taken on a different thing for me and its more about the experience that I have everyday on the film and being inspired. I never know how the movie will turn out, I don’t edit the movies, I don’t’ direct the movies I don’t market the movies. So very little of what I do actually ends up at the end of the day on the screen. Only thing I can control is what my day-to-day experience was like and did I challenge myself, was I inspired and did I go outside my comfort zone. For me a good day at work is when I am scared and I try something new. Because my day to day life I don’t like to be that way, I’ve very protected and I like to have everything in control and I’m very organized. There is something kind of nice to the balance of being so free. so open. so for me acting is just about that. so if there is an award at the end of the day or people enjoy it or if they don’t its not my concern. my concern is what I do in the moment with the other actor with the director. That’s all I can control.
Do you have a favorite designer?
I like to mix high and low fashion. I have friends of mine who design clothes that I don’t buy because they are very fancy and expensive and I choose a lower price point. But I’m very lucky I get to wear their clothes.
Do you look at the price?
Yes of course! For sure I’m not crazy. I like to mix high and low so I’ll get a couple of things that are special but I mostly wear stuff that is more accessible. Today I’m wearing H&M.
Do you prefer lip gloss or lipstick?
I don’t prefer either, I prefer them both. They give a different look completely. Lip gloss is easier to wear during the day but at night if I want a more specific look with pigment I like lipstick. I like different colors I like very dark reds, pink, nudes and oranges. I think it depends what’s happening to the rest of your face. You don’t want to do to much on your lips if your eyes are done up. I like to pick one or the other.
You are on the list of the 100 most beautiful women in the world. You can tell us your secret to looking beautiful all the time?
Thank you but I’m not. I think having a good regimen helps. I try to drink as much water as possible, I try to sleep well, I try to eat right, I try to get in some exercise, all of that helps. I also think carrying yourself with confidence actually transcends all different ideas of beauty and really is what beauty is all about.
Do you think women can really empower themselves by being beautiful?
I think being beautiful is being strong.