- Alba told People how she’s experienced sexism through her career.
- “I always wanted to be treated the way that I saw men being treated,” she said.
- She feels men are praised to give opinions while for women it’s like “‘What? You have an opinion?'”
Jessica Alba is speaking out about the sexism she’s faced while rising through the ranks — both as an actress and a businesswoman.
“I always wanted to be treated the way that I saw men being treated,” Alba told People for its cover story this week.
“Men were told, ‘Oh, you’re really smart’ if you have ideas about the character or the story, where for the women it was like, ‘What? You have an opinion?'” she continued. “It was like you came off as aggressive where a man just looked really assertive and powerful.”
Alba added that in her experiences in Hollywood it was “quite oppressive in a lot of ways when it came to women having an equal standing.”
Despite her observations, Alba had built a thriving career as an actress, starting with her breakout role as the lead in the 2000 Fox series “Dark Angel” and then in movies like “Sin City” and the “Fantastic Four” franchise.
Then in 2012, she founded the The Honest Company, which focuses on eco-friendly consumer goods. As of May when the company went public, it has been valued at $1.44 billion.
Looking back, Alba told People she didn’t begin to feel empowered until she “allowed” herself to feel that way.
“For a long time, I felt like I didn’t deserve it,” she said. “Trying to reach a goal is one thing, but giving myself the space to be successful and acknowledge that, or even giving myself the space to feel intelligent, was hard.”
Alba is currently filming the Netflix action movie “Trigger Warning,” in which she plays a reluctant hero of a small town.