Jessica Alba on her acting career: “I felt like I was being objectified”

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba covers the June issue of Marie Claire — presumably to promote The Honest Company (again). The photoshoot is quite pretty, but I think she’s either run out of things to discuss, or the interviewer steered clear of the diaper and hand sanitizer-oriented questions with an eye towards the magazine’s demographic. As such, Jessica is discussing how tough it is to be perceived as “sexy” (she and Scarlett Johansson could form a club to that end). Oddly enough, this sentiment dovetails with Jessica’s recent iVillage blog about how becoming a mother has made her feel more sexy. What a tricky little paradox. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Jessica Alba

On being typecast as sexy: “I had a show [Fox’s ‘Dark Angel’] that premiered when I was 19. And right away, everyone formed a strong opinion about me because of the way I was marketed. I was supposed to be sexy, this tough action girl. That’s what people expected…I felt like I was being objectified, and it made me uncomfortable. I wanted to be chic and elegant!”

On gaining confidence: “Now that I’m older, I’ve learned how to own it, but I’m still not very overt. There are some women who dress for men. I dress for myself. It took me some time to get here. Being a mom and feeling grown-up have helped. Now if I’m going to wear something short, it has to have a high neck or a little sci-fi toughness to it, an edge.”

On her former sexy image: “I like to get positive attention. But if I have a choice between someone noticing in a negative way what I’m wearing and going, What was she thinking? or someone not noticing what I’m wearing, I would rather not make a statement at all and just have a good conversation instead.”

[From Marie Claire]

In some regard, I can see how Alba would get frustrated at being typecast as the hot girl. Yet as a non-ethereally beautiful civilian, it grates somewhat to hear her repeatedly discuss how hard it is to be gorgeous. I mean, those looks gained her several millions of dollars, and she was certainly accepting these roles (Into the Blue, Honey, Sin City, Fantastic Four, and many more) with a pasted-on smile. So at a certain point, Alba just needs to STFU and stop complaining. Besides, she’s done a very smart thing by largely ducking out of acting to work on The Honest Company, so I think the dreaded “sexy” phase of her career is well behind her.

Here’s Jessica at the park with Honor and Haven on 5/10. She seems to have a very blessed life, and I like her casual street style.

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba

Photos courtesy of Marie Claire and Fame/Flynet

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40 Responses to “Jessica Alba on her acting career: “I felt like I was being objectified””

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  1. QQ says:

    She needs to SHUT UP she collected her paycheck and her perks no?

  2. Bite me aka aniston says:

    I have love this girl since Flipper…. Her skin is amazing
    She could have been an action star, she was very believable in Dark Angel

  3. Meg says:

    No honey. You just have no talent. Only looks. So what have you expected?

    • Katie says:

      Glad I’m not the only one who is all “well how else could they cast you? You have no talent.”

  4. Masque says:

    Says the girl showing a lot of skin on the cover of a magazine.

    • poppy says:

      don’t objectify her as a tough sexy action girl. objectify her as an elegant sexy clothes horse.
      she’s trying to hone in on goop’s territory: ungrateful complaining and homemaking.

    • Snarky says:


  5. Jenna says:

    I can understand her points, but at the same time…bitch please.

  6. Chatcat says:

    The old adage “never bite the hand that feeds you” is appropriate for this chick. I have always found Vanity to make a beautiful looking person become ugly faster then any other personality trait but I think I was over-analyzing it…people like Alba are just mentally or emotionally ill.

  7. Dibba says:

    Well, duh. Only reason you were hired is for your looks. Oh, and that photo shoot kind of ironic considering how you don’t like to be objectified. LOL

  8. normades says:

    Would she be saying this if her acting career was going well? Prolly not.

    I don’t know who her stylist is, but she does have great clothes.

    I could never buy her eco products though. Ever since her dumb shark saving graffiti scandal I can’t take any of her attempts to be environmentally conscious seriously.

    • jover says:

      I had forgotten about that shows how clueless she is – i’m pretty sure there are plenty of legit eco organizations in southern cali, why not just join one and do ordinary grunt work like most people. Other than her children she has no substance and hence her emptiness; showing up on red carpets is just part of the make believe world she lives in.

  9. OlsenTriplet says:

    Ellen Page? Is that you?

  10. Gene Parmesan says:

    She never says anything of value, because she is not getting roles and has easily been replaced by other hot girls, Maybe she feels like saying this will have studios realise that hey lets not typecast her and give her meaty roles!! In her mind of course, In reality her time has passed

  11. Jayna says:

    People with limited acting talent shouldn’t complain. Her range is very limited.

  12. nofkksgiven says:

    she’d have a really good point if her acting were better

  13. Jen says:


    Maybe she could donate all the $$ she’s earned from being objectified to us ugly people.

  14. Aiobhan says:

    Bitter is a shade of green that does not look well on Jessica.

  15. mar says:

    Her problem is, she can not act. That is why she gets the roles that she gets.

    I do like her style , however. She always looks really cute without looking like she is trying to hard.

  16. Me says:

    I dont think this is what she was saying at all. I dont think she ever thought she was beautiful and then all of a sudden she became this sex object and it conflicted with her own self image. She is an actress and whether she is good or not has nothing to do with it. She obviously got into acting for the sake of acting. I honestly think she is naive enough to have misunderstood her own beauty and why she got the roles she did. I think it was a bit of a slap in the face for her and she thought hey I could accept this sexy image I have going on and roll with it but Im so damn awkward and havent seen myself this way that I dont like it at all. Then I think having babies washed all that away and she finally appreciated herself for who she was.

    Wait. Why have I thought this much about Jessica Alba’s psyche? I dont think Im wrong though.

    • Shayna says:

      I agree with what you’re saying and I also think that she just wasn’t very articulate and a better word for to have used would have been “pigeon hold” instead of objectified. I think what she is saying is that she was typcast or pigeon hold in action roles or physical roles and not allowed to do other things. Still sounds like complaining (at least a little) but I think she is just trying to be truthful.

    • Mouse says:

      It’s not naivety, it’s stupidity.

    • Runs with Scissors says:

      I agree Me.

  17. Shelly says:

    Well she doesn’t have to worry about appearing sexy in those disgusting acid-washed jeans. And if it weren’t for her prior history of so-called sexy roles, no one would even care about her or her Honest company. She needs to shut it.

  18. Mouse says:

    I can’t believe this dumb trick complained about being objectified while doing a fashion magazine covershoot, not really the best timing to make a point like that and expect to be taken seriously. Well sorry to have to break it to you lady, but no one is ever going to hire you for your intelligence and if you keep this up, no one is going to hire you at all.

  19. TheOriginalKitten says:

    She’ll find work. In fact, her grating personality and lack of talent are perfectly suited for the romantic comedy genre.

  20. WickedSteppMom says:

    HAHAHAHAHA…Oh wait, she’s trying to be serious? This from the A-hole who decided that her baby was “chubby” & “overfed” and needed to weigh less. Yeah, I take anything that comes out of her mouth seriously.

  21. littlestar says:

    What does her husband do??? Does anyone know? I’ve always wondered what it is he does (don’t ask me why, I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I have ever wondered about her husband). Lol!

  22. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    How old is that most recent Focker movie? Maybe 2 years old? Ok her role in that movie was the most shallow, embarrassing I have seen in a while..and, I watch a lot of romcoms. She needs to start taking more serious roles (if she’s offered them) and refuse to accept any where she is cast as a leggy dimwitted airhead. That will solve said “problem.”

  23. ThatKid says:

    She’s wearing the same dress on that Marie Claire cover that Diane Kruger did in Cannes.

    Neither here nor there, just got a thrill when I recognized it from an earlier CB post during my daily stroll through 🙂

  24. jover says:

    Sign on with everyone;seriously though for the love of GOd why can’t american mags go back and put models on their covers – there is NOTHING newsworthy about this wet noodle – in fact, my cat throwing up hairballs is more interesting, what is the fascination with these vacant d-listers? do they really sell more mags than models – they didn’t in the 80s/90s the heyday of the supermodels.

  25. john c says:

    why does she keep working for Robert Rodriguez then? Didn’t he cgi her nude for Machete? Oh wait he is the only one that hires her anymore.

  26. ViktoryGin says:

    Her self concept obviously diverges greatly from public perception and I actually feel kind of bad for the girl. She wants so desperately to be taken seriously as a legit actress, but she’s just f*cking dreadful. And to exacebate it, she curries no simpathy because no one wants to hear the pretty girl’s pathetic self-loathing sob story.

  27. It is ME!! says:

    This chick is none too bright.

  28. Lisa says:

    Being objectified is offensive to you because?

  29. Madchen says:

    Glad she’s smart enough to talk about her acting career in the past tense.

  30. Erin says:

    Hey, isn’t she wearing the same dress on the cover that Diane Kruger is wearing in Cannes???

  31. Maria says:

    I don’t think there’s a contradiction if she says she felt being objectified and uncomfortable when labeled as a sex object, and then on the other hand, if she speaks now about feeling sexier than ever after becoming a mom and liking that feeling.

    She was talking about the time when she was what… in her early twenties? She probably was a lot more insecure about her looks at younger age (like people tend to be) and being marketed and seen only as a sex symbol can be an uncomfortable experience for a young girl. Maybe she didn’t even realize at that time how beautiful she really is. That’s not so uncommon for pretty girls not to know that they are considered very beautiful and even when they are said about it they can still feel insecure just like everyone else.

    And I don’t think that it is at all surprising if she feels now more confident to praise her sexuality and feels over all more sexy and beautiful, as she is now self the one who is defining how she wants to look like and how she wants to represent her sexuality as a grown woman and a mother of two children. (Instead of being molded into this sex object for men by other men like she was probably done at the beginning of her career and at the time she was referring to…)

    And she looks stunning btw. A very beautiful photo shoot and I do like her casual and comfy looking street style too. A very beautiful woman indeed.

  32. Jimenez says:

    Behold a total idiot bimbo.
    She has been told all her life how beautiful she looks, ever since she started in the business. I don’t think it’s good when a tween is told by people every day “you are so beautiful”, it just fucks them up, makes them into narcissists. Too bad she has an entourage of sycophants who tells her what she want to hear.

    People won’t hire her NOW because she’s demanding and difficult on set, and she won’t take directions from the directors AT ALL, which is why she utterly sucks in everything she does.
    She’s a total bitch in real life, at lest on set.

    I used to like her, until someone I knew worked on one of her films (Silver Surfer). She quit because Alba was allowed her crazy behaviour. She is a paranoid crazy bitch who go crazy if she thinks that all men aren’t “objectifying” her (on the set) and she demands that other women are removed if they get any attention, regardless of their purpose there, or if she feels they take away from her “beauty” somehow.
    That’s the reason she say such strange things sometimes, it’s because she’s completely bonkers.