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Jessica Alba Says She Was Deemed ‘Not Caucasian Enough’ For Lead Roles

2 minute read

Actress and entrepreneur Jessica Alba launched Honest Beauty, the cosmetics line within the Honest Company, with the mission of expanding the definition of beauty. In a video for Popsugar, the star says that part of her inspiration came from the struggle to find acting jobs and makeup as a Latina.

“They couldn’t figure out my ethnicity. I would always go out for ‘exotic,'” Alba said. “They were like, ‘You’re not Latin enough to play a Latina, and you’re not Caucasian enough to play the leading lady, so you’re going to be the ‘exotic’ one.’ Whatever that was.” She added: “So then I was even more determined to become a leading lady to show that girls can look like me, and we can be leading ladies.”

The inability to fit into Hollywood’s rigid categories also informed Alba’s decisions in developing her beauty line. “I didn’t feel like, when I was younger and certainly when I started acting, that there were a lot of things that were offered to women of color,” she said. “I found it really difficult to find even a foundation. I would have makeup artists constantly talk to me about how hard it was to match my skin tone and how they had to use three different types of foundations and mix them together every single time.”

Watch the video at Popsugar.com

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