Jessica Alba: The ‘judgy mom’ thing is like ‘the mean girl thing from high school’


I have to admit that in the past year especially, I’ve done a 180 on Jessica Alba. I used to think she was a marginally talented jackass who repeatedly claimed she was too beautiful to succeed in Hollywood and that when her films bombed, it was never her fault. And in truth, she was that woman. But she’s managed to make herself into a highly successful businesswoman and overall better person over the past four years or so. Her interviews are much better, her outlook on life seems to be much more tolerant and friendly and she just impresses me. Anyway, Alba has a new interview with Yahoo Parenting – go here to read the full piece. She’s shilling The Honest Company’s new line of feminine products with cute packaging. Some highlights:

On judgy mothers: “I know as a mom — and as a new parent — I felt confused. And I felt judged. Doesn’t it feel like the mean girl thing from high school sort of just transforms into adulthood through motherhood? I think it has to do with hormones, right? I mean, this is the first time I’m actually saying this out loud, but that mean girl stuff happens when your hormones are going crazy. And then your hormones go crazy again when you’re pregnant and having a baby. And even when you’re breastfeeding. And I feel like maybe it’s just all those hormones, and people don’t know where to put their energy, so they just start clashing.”

The Honest Company supports breastfeeding & formula feeding: “The overall community online was either one or the other. And a lot of my friends did both. So I wanted to develop a real dialogue, and create a line that’s for everyone. So whether you want to breastfeed, or whether you want to supplement feed, we’re going to give you the best in both areas.”

Giving advice to new moms: “Now I’m one of those moms that gives you too much advice that you may or may not want. Usually, you don’t want [it]. But I think the biggest thing is that what works for you, or what works for your friend, isn’t going to work for everyone … there is no right or wrong. I have two very different girls. And the way that I parent one is different than the way that I parent the other. There’s no cookie-cutter way of going about it. And I think we as women — and as moms — we need to show younger girls that we support each other no matter what. And to try and not be so judgmental.”

She isn’t concerned about social media comments about her kids: “I don’t know any different. I’ve been in the public eye for so long now, it’s just part of my day to day. Do I like it? No. Is it weird? Totally weird. It’s never not weird. We just try to get on with our life and ignore it.”

She doesn’t give her daughters an allowance: Honor’s “not quite old enough to do hardcore chores… But she makes her bed and she cleans her plate and she has nice manners. Things like that. She doesn’t get paid for that. That’s just like, you have gotta be! That’s the way we are as a family. When she gets older, we can talk about chores and money and stuff. She’ll just blow it — on candy, probably.”

[From Yahoo Parenting]

Honor is 7 years old – do you think that’s too young to have an allowance? I don’t think it’s too young. I was getting an allowance at that age. I think it’s important to teach kids about money and the value of things. But Alba seems to be doing other things well. I like this: “she makes her bed and she cleans her plate and she has nice manners. Things like that. She doesn’t get paid for that.” Good. Parents shouldn’t pay kids for having nice manners! As for Alba’s conversation about judgy moms and The Great Breastfeeding War… I like that she’s staked a position of “whatever works is fine, stop judging.” Who would have ever thought that Jessica Alba would be the voice of reason in The Mommy Wars?


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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39 Responses to “Jessica Alba: The ‘judgy mom’ thing is like ‘the mean girl thing from high school’”

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  1. Korra says:

    Yeah she’s growing on me too. Her kids are cute. And yes children shouldn’t be getting paid for fulfilling the basic qualities of a decent human being. But for making the bed, I think there should be some compensation there.

    • wiffie says:

      Eh, in life, there are chores you have to do because you have to do them, without getting paid. I like the idea of kids not feeling entitled to compensation for everything that resembles a modicum of work.

  2. mememe says:

    I never got an allowance in my life. I thought that was for spoiled kids.

    • DavidBowie says:

      I thought that was for rich kids.

    • Linn says:

      Not a native speaker, so I’m not sure what allowance actually means. Is it money given for doing chores specifically or also money given every week/month independent of chores?

      The latter is the common thing to do in Germany and usually starts once a child starts with elementary school. Chores are something children just need to do as every other member of the family.

      • AcidRock says:

        An allowance is, in my experience, usually something given in exchange for chores (washing dishes, taking out the garbage, etc.). It’s meant to be a way of teaching the child to earn money and the value of working for something (or having something they can save up for something bigger, like a toy they really want, and learning the value of delayed gratification). In my family, my brother and I rotated – every other day I’d wash dishes or vacuum and he’d do the other.

    • WillowS says:

      I got an allowance (a very small one) starting at age 7 as long as I did my chores and my family was far from well to do. I remember getting 50 cents a week-this was back in 1979-1980…I don’t know what that is equivalent to today…maybe a dollar? My maximum allowance was $20 a week and that was my senior year of high school (1989-1990)-if I didn’t want to bring lunch to school I had to use that money to buy lunch, etc. I also worked from age 12 onwards (babysitting, doing odd jobs, etc. before I was old enough to get an “official” part-time job). I was definitely not a spoiled rich kid lol.

      I’m in favor of allowances and if I had kids it would be something I’d institute. You don’t do your chores, you don’t get your allowance-I think it’s a good introduction to money and work.

  3. applapoom says:

    Word. Then there is the moms at school brigade…wow…it gets all kinds of amazing…

  4. BooBooLaRue says:

    Sounds as if she realized she was a “marginally talented jackass” and grew up a bit. Good on her.

  5. minx says:

    I never thought about her much until she called Bill O’Reilly “kind of an a-hole” a few years back, and I loved it.
    She’s growing on me too. She’s done a lot for herself when she could have been just sitting around looking beautiful. I’m sure she can be impatient and no-nonsense and I can appreciate that.
    And she’s right about judgy moms.

  6. Kay says:

    I love this. The mommy wars on breastfeeding or not is crazy! It’s like you can even say aloud oh I did both or I switched to formula before a year without feeling guilty. It’s nice to hear a celebrity say hey whatever works for you works! Incidentally last year when I was pregnant I started using the honest co for cleaning supplies and I have to say, for the most part, I love them. A few of the things aren’t the best (I just don’t feel protected with spray deodorant lol) but the cleaning products are awesome!

  7. layla says:

    As a non-baring-fruit-of-my-loins female, I have never ever understood the judgy mum thing and why there is such a need to tear each other down in parenting styles and choices ….. so her whole “crazy hormones” thing might actually hold some validity !

    • Miffy says:

      It’s also fuelled by insecurity. Going to bed at night wondering if you’ve done the right thing today for this tiny human can make one a tad anxious.
      Some people get over this by shredding other people who don’t do the same as them. Just like bitchy mean girls! You’re mean to feel on top and mean to suppress other people’s opinions.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Is it any wonder when we see how rudely many adults with wealth are treating most everybody else without? It’s painful to project this behavior forward into the future. It explains people like the supposed Republican front-runner … as well as the front-runner last time around.

        Jaw used to drop when my relatives’ children came in from outside and dropped their jackets on the floor. And were not expected to #pickthemup.

        Say, good hashtag. #pickitupyourself

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Above went to the wrong place, sorry.

        As for insecurities, there was always insecurity. But I think the competitiveness and judgement have gotten worse. Parenting became a “job” rather than a role and with jobs come expectations.

  8. Anaya says:

    The Honest company has received numerous complaints about their products not being good quality especially their deodorant and sunscreen. A customer and her child got a nasty sunburn after using their product. Maybe some of their items are better environmentally but not very effective. The Honest company is still fairly new so maybe they’ll improve the quality and effectiveness of some of their items.

    Jessica seems like a good mom that’s not spoiling her kids just because she can. I think giving children allowance is okay as long as it’s not given to bribe the kids to do things they should already do. If allowance is given after completing a chore then they will understood that you get when you give instead of getting money for doing nothing and the kids will appreciate the money more.

    • pinetree13 says:

      That’s because they’ve been switching to cheaper and cheaper factories overseas to produce their goods even though they denied for a long time that they were getting their products made cheaply in the same factories as other mainstream companies for a looonnnggg time. I read about this regarding their diapers.

      The sunblock thing was a HUGE problem. Lots of babies/kids with serious burns because they trusted her sunscreen which did nothing!!!! I’m not sure why anyone still buys from her line after these two major and public issues.

  9. Michelle says:

    I know that the headline of this story was about judgy moms and while I’m not a mom, I have a serious question here.

    I just recently thought about my cousin’s children and how they don’t do any chores around their house. Is this a new thing, or is it just them? By the ages of 8 and 7, I was cleaning and receiving some sort of small allowance. This sounds judgy, but my cousin’s parenting strikes me as really odd a lot of the time, for example her children are 8 and 7 years old and neither of them ever say please and thank you, they’re never forced to look up from the TV or their iPads to respond to adults, and they don’t say hello when people walk in a room.

    Is this the new wave, or is it just my cousin’s kids? Do kids still do chores?

    • Chris says:

      I feel some people are like that-but not all. There aren’t always clear lines on the right way to parent your kids and some kids respond to different techniques. I feel that kids learning to clean up after themselves, be respectful and polite should be an across the board thing. What are these kids going to be like when they are older if they don’t have any respect or manners now?

      • Michelle says:

        I agree with you. When I go to my cousin’s house and their nanny has to try to negotiate with the kids to get them to clean up their toys it annoys me so much. The nanny usually ends up cleaning up for them just to make her own life easier since she really isn’t allowed to discipline the kids, so she can’t get them to comply. Spoiling kids and allowing them to feel entitled doesn’t help them, it only turns them into unpleasant adults.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      I have two nephews aged 7 and 9 and it’s the same, no chores and they are imho spoiled. My pet peeve is they never say thanks for gifts at birthdays and Christmas, for me that bad manners is just poor parenting. When I was a youngin’ (I am 35 now) this was never a thing. If I had even dreamed of behaving the way they do I would have had to wake up and apologise.

      • Moneypenny says:

        My nephews (8 and 10) are like this too. It is ridiculous. I don’t even really like to be around them if I’m being honest. It isn’t too much to ask for them to say hello or thank you (parents still thank me for gifts, but come one, they’re old enough to do it themselves). Meanwhile, my 6 year old nieces have wonderful manners and are so pleasant. Different parents, different kids. I’ll be damned if my 3 year old doesn’t have good manners!

      • Michelle says:

        @Zapp Brannigan – Same with my cousin’s children. They never thank anyone for gifts and act incredibly ungrateful. One Easter, we went out for brunch and they had these small little purses and they walked around the table asking us all to put money in the purses for them. After the 30th time they walked around the table, I finally told them to stop and go sit down. My cousin got red in the face and said, “yes, sit down now, enough of that.” It’s like are you kidding me? I’m still appalled by that. I could go on and on about all of the bizarre rude behavior that I’ve been taken aback by. I sincerely hope this is NOT the majority of kids. My cousin and her husband are both very successful lawyers and I think that their kids are just so spoiled that they don’t know the value of anything or appreciate anything. Manners cost nothing, please and thank you should be second nature. I completely agree that it is poor parenting.

        @Moneypenny – I hear you. In my family, the majority of us are beginning to feel like we don’t want to be around my cousin’s children also. They lack manners and they’re totally rude. They’re so poorly behaved.

    • savu says:

      I think we’re talking about two different things: chores vs. manners. I probably say thank you TOO much. Man, I used to fight my dad so hard about writing thank you cards. I hated it. Now I do it always, and people REALLY appreciate it. I think the kids and chores and allowances is a little more up to the parent, different for every family and kid. But to me, manners are a whole different story.

    • Natty says:

      My 7 yo and 2 yo both do chores. Obviously, the 2 yo has less responsibility and is learning how to do things by helping us, or while being totally supervised. They both have been taught to use their manners and do so without too much prompting.

      I think it’s fair to judge parents who aren’t making their kids practice doing the mundane tasks that they’re going to have to do for themselves once they become adults, which is what doing chores is really about IMHO. I think it’s also fair to judge parents who aren’t teaching their children the basic rules of social interaction, like saying “please” and “thank you.” In both instances, those children are going to be at a significant deficit when they strike out on their own or enter the work force.

  10. Anon says:

    I agree with a lot of what she said but also believe she is trying too hard to be HONEST.Something is off I feel hope not too much.

  11. Sandra says:

    I briefly tried to do the allowance thing, and it just didn’t work. Perhaps it’s silly and lazy, but in today’s day and age, who carries cash?!? Believe it or not, that made it really difficult to pay up! The machine dispenses $20, I need $5, I need to get change…gah. Plus she wanted to buy what she wanted to buy with HER money, and I just wasn’t okay with some things she wanted to buy. So I stopped. If she needs something I buy it, if she wants it, then it’s up to me. I can make her earn that particular item with chores, or refuse outright. My take to my kid is there are things that I think you should do because you’re a member of the family and help out, I’m not paying you to just exist. I can totally see how people may use it as an incentive to get the behaviour they want, no shade there.

    • pinetree13 says:

      I never use cash either so I could totally see this being a problem! I guess you could just do some sort of token system representing money but the actual money stays in your bank?! Good point to ponder.

  12. T.Fanty says:

    Am I the only one thinking that she’s just saying that because there are newspaper articles bouncing around about how crappy her company’s sunscreen is?

  13. Michelle says:

    I generally don’t leave two comments on a post, but I just had to say–I’d much rather read Jessica Alba talk about how she parents and all of the other stuff she spoke about here than read all this new wave BS with moms talking about what a tedious, terrible “job” parenting is. My cousin is the closest person to me who is a parent, and sometimes she makes me so uncomfortable when her and her friends carry on about how much they pretty much hate parenting and try to justify “hating” their children sometimes (their words, not mine). Parenting is “the hardest job you’ll ever love,” I’m sure, but I’m really tired of hearing women complain about it to a level that makes me wonder why they had kids to begin with. I actually like reading Jessica Alba talk about her parenting because I think she is a woman who genuinely enjoys being a mom and being with her kids. From where I stand, this isn’t so common anymore.

  14. Susan says:

    After reading this, consider me a card carrying member of the Jessica Alba fan club! Thank you Jessica for outing those judge moms.

  15. Kate says:

    I just found out yesterday from my endocrinologist that, after YEARS of trying and various failed cycles of fertility treatments, I’m finally pregnant (through IVF). It was quite a shock, as I had pretty much given up and made peace with not having children. Anyway, hopefully this little guy will keep sticking and this will be a viable pregnancy, and if so I relish the idea of starting my own anti-Mommy blog. I won’t be able to breast feed. Even though my husband’s income is in the high 6 figures and I don’t need to work for financial reasons, I intend to continue my career. We have a trip abroad scheduled for later in 2016 when the baby will be about 7 months old, and we still intend to go and leave him with my mother (we had pgd testing, so we already know it’s a boy). Basically, my choices would already make the judgy moms’ heads explode. I’ll write gleefully in my anti-Mommy blog about bottle feeding, using disposable diapers, buying store-bought baby food instead of making my own (I can barely even make myself a sandwich), choosing to work when I don’t have to, going on vacation without the baby, electing not to have a natural or drug-free childbirth, etc., etc. The scorn heaped upon me will be intense. I look forward to all the trolling and bad grammar coming my way. After everything I’ve been through physically and psychologically, the idea that I will love this child less than other, superior martyr-moms because I fully intend to have an epidural is beyond absurd.

    • Mimz says:

      I just wanted to say congratulations and send you all the positivity in the world, for you and your baby.
      Take care 🙂

    • AcidRock says:

      Congrats! I can’t imagine how excited and overjoyed you and your family must be at the good news! Sending good energy and vibes your way 🙂

  16. Lisa says:

    Ha, this is the woman who bragged about making people who worked for her cry. Takes one to know one?

  17. Me too says:

    No, it isn’t the same because, in high school, you care what people think. As an adult, I could give a flying f what other moms think. Really, I laugh at all those competitive parenting twits. And there are a LOT out there.

  18. LA Juice says:

    Poor thing- she is about to meet her Honest demise with the mommy set… I once had an amazing blog, and a potential book deal, all because the Judgy Mommies who blog for, blog about, and support the Blogher network liked me. Blogher promoted my blog, and sent me thousands of readers. Until I went to their conference in San Diego and told it like it was. The experience was awful, and it was judgy mommy nirvana.

    Jessica is not wrong, those judgy moms are awful- AWFUL and cliquish and mean- but if you cross them, you are done in their world.