Jessica Alba Opened Up About the Double Standards She Faced in Her Early Career

"Attitudes about strong women were quite oppressive in a lot of ways."

Jessica Alba is one of the most famous names in Hollywood. And her foray into the baby and beauty world via her Honest Company has made her a respected wellness mogul within the natural beauty industry. But as Alba told People in her September 9th feature interview, becoming the powerhouse she is meant that she had to come face-to-face with the scathing gendered double standards that exist within Hollywood and the rest of corporate America.

“I always wanted to be treated the way that I saw men being treated,” Alba told People. “Men were told, ‘Oh, you’re really smart’ if you have ideas about the character or the story, where for the women it was like, ‘What? You have an opinion?’ It was like you came off as aggressive, where a man just looked really assertive and powerful.”

She continued, I think attitudes about strong women were quite oppressive in a lot of ways when it came to women having an equal standing.

And perhaps it was because of being consistently looked down upon that it was hard for Alba to realize how much good she had achieved in her career.

For a long time, I felt like I didn’t deserve it, she said. Trying to reach a goal is one thing, but giving myself the space to be successful and acknowledge that, or even giving myself the space to feel intelligent, was hard.

But finally, she allowed herself to be proud of what she has accomplished, and is now encouraging others to follow their dreams no matter what. “While it isn’t always easy, never forget that your biggest strength is believing in yourself, with vision, relentless optimism and perseverance-you can make it happen!” Alba wrote in the caption of an Instagram post sharing her People cover story. “And when you get blocked, just know that you can pave your own damn way!”

She told People that she wants to be remembered for being “fearless and hardworking.” Needless to say, Alba will be remembered for being that and so much more.

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