Jessica Alba Says She Put Up an “Armor of Masculinity” to Avoid Being Preyed on in Hollywood Before #MeToo – Hollywood Reporter

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“I felt a bit tapped out with entertainment,” the actress added about why she stepped back from acting to found The Honest Company. “It was pre-#MeToo movement and I think this is a very different Hollywood today than it was 14 years ago.”
By Abbey White
Associate Editor
Jessica Alba says she amped up her “masculine energy” while working in Hollywood before the #MeToo movement as a young actress to prevent people from preying on her.
While appearing on the latest episode of Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?, Alba spoke about her decision to leave Hollywood after having started acting in her early teens and navigating the industry as a woman before launching The Honest Company, which sells baby, personal and household products.
After watching a clip of her acting in Sin City, Alba says that she ultimately understood why her sexuality was part of marketing films she worked “as a business decision and a strategy” and thus was “able to distance myself from it.” She added that as a performer, “You can’t change other people’s minds about what they may or may not think of you.” However, she has no regrets about portraying her sexuality.

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“I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with owning your sexuality. I just frankly was definitely not that person. I was very nervous about all of that, and I was quite uncomfortable in my own skin,” she explained. “It wasn’t until I became a mom that I really started to even see myself as a woman or a sexual being or someone who owned her power and her femininity.”
Being in touch with her femininity was something that came later in life as the actress spent much of her youth in Hollywood creating a masculine armor around herself. “At that time, I felt like I was very much having to put up this armor of masculinity and masculine energy so I wouldn’t be preyed on because there were a lot of predators in Hollywood from age 12 to 26,” she said when Wallace asked about being objectified by Hollywood.
Having to navigate an industry where she was constantly protecting herself, the actress says, also played a part in her decision to step back some from acting and pursue her business. “I think at the time, I felt a bit tapped out with entertainment, with where it was at. It was pre-#MeToo movement and I think this is a very different Hollywood today than it was 14 years ago,” Alba told Wallace. “I just took a step back and kind of let it do its thing. Entertainment was really like — the town was very different.”
Part of that effort, which Alba says saw her become like “a warrior,” involved her cursing “like a sailor” and trying to “make myself as unavailable as possible” so no one would take advantage of her. “I was a warrior,” she added. “I put up that energy. I was really tough, man.”

She also credited becoming a mother as something that made her reevaluate her purpose. “A passion of mine still is the ability to tell stories and to be able to be someone else,” she said. “Frankly, that’s why I wanted to do it in the first place, but when I had my daughter, I think my priorities shifted a bit … I really started to assess what was bringing me joy and what felt, at that time, a little bit draining.”
During the interview, Alba also addressed critics of her company Honest, who have accused it of greenwashing, or misrepresenting its products as more environmentally conscious or friendly than they are.
“We actually don’t greenwash,” Alba said. “I think there’s a lot of hype words that a lot of the competitors use. But it’s just simply we’ve never said that our products are made from something that grew in your backyard. We’re really transparent about the fact that not everything in nature is safe and not everything synthetic is horrible and it really is about a standard with toxicologists, or [our] regulatory team, chemists.”
She added that they also consider things like whether the using the material or ingredient is “depleting the planet” of a natural resource. “We think about that — this certain ingredient, what does it really do for human health? Is it really safe or unsafe? And is there another alternative that would be better?” she continued. “We’ll always look into that.”
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