Jessica Alba’s kids ‘don’t have the same constant proximity’ to Latin culture

Jessica Alba has a feature in the new issue of Parents Latina magazine. This interview actually made me go back and do some research and Alba’s history of first denying then embracing her Mexican-American roots. Back when she first hit the scene and started getting some heat, she said in an interview that she did not want to be identified as a Latina and that “I’ve never felt connected to one particular race or heritage, nor did I feel accepted by any.”

 She tried to do damage control on-and-off over the years, even covering Latina Mag and declaring “I always took pride in being Latina.” My guess is that she was originally trying to make a point about not wanting to be typecast as “the hot Latina girl,” but it just came out the wrong way. I feel like I’m more than meeting her halfway there. Anyway, as for this Parents Latina interview, she talks about her parenting style and whether her daughters speak Spanish and more.

On how her Mexican heritage influenced her as a mom: “My heritage is all about family, which always comes first. And respect for yourself and for your elders is something that I’m passing on to my daughters.”
On why her kids might not identify as Latina: “I grew up around my Mexican-American grandparents. My grandmother was an incredibly strong woman a great influence on me. I was also surrounded by tios and tias at a lot of family events. My kids don’t have the same constant proximity. I make sure they know where they came from and that they spend time with their relatives, but they’re not surrounded by it all the time. We have different cultures in the house.”
On whether or not her daughters speak Spanish: “They know how to ask for besos and leche! They are going to be global citizens and will need to understand many languages, including Spanish, to make a difference in the world.”
On the best advice you can give moms who want to start their own business, like she did with The Honest Company: “Don’t get overwhelmed trying to do everything at once. Lay out what you can get done now and what will take longer.”
How she handles ‘mom guilt’: “Don’t be hard on yourself. Doing your best to be present wherever you are is what’s important. Make time to eat healthy and stay active. It’s worth it to recharge once a week: Get sleep, have a date night or girls’ night in, and drink some wine!”
On how to feel sexy when you’re a busy mom: “Being sexy is about confidence. So be proud of what you accomplish, be amazed at what your body can do, and give yourself props. When all else fails, put on a bright red lip! (I hope it’s one by Honest Beauty.)”

I feel like some people are going to attack Alba for what she says about her kids not really being raised in the kind of inclusive Latin culture she grew up within, but I get it.

I’m half-Indian and half-white, and that’s how identify racially but not really culturally, in that I wouldn’t say that my upbringing was particularly or even partially representative of Indian culture or Indian families.

I didn’t (and don’t) speak Bengali or any Indian languages, so I get her view of not teaching Spanish to her kids too. Alba probably barely speaks Spanish at home because she and Cash speak English to each other. Just my take! While I hope her children embrace their Mexican-American heritage, I totally understand her point about being “global citizens.”

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