Honestly, Jessica Alba
Yes this post is about Jessica Alba, but like so many conversations we’ve had over the past few weeks, let’s start with Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth is owning it right now, and no matter how much we huff and puff and roll our eyes, there is also a sick need for us, even though you don’t want to admit it, to pine for her WASP life. (I say this after spending hours last night searching for her Current/Elliott infantry jacket online, and whining about it to Lainey). Jessica Alba just doesn’t hold the same sway over women. Even amateur gossips recognize that when she told British Glamour, “I want to sink my teeth into a character that makes it worth not being with my kids, or not being at the office” it’s a bit of a joke: Alba is not in demand and hasn’t been in years. Not everyone is Cate Blanchett, but not everyone is Gywneth Paltrow either.
It’s All Good is number one on the NYT best sellers list, Hardcover Advice & Misc., and The Honest Life is number 8 on Paperback, Advice & Misc. But it’s not a competition between moms! Yes it is, especially when Alba talks about how much more relatable she is than Gwyneth. (More accurately, it’s a competition between brands.) But a throwdown takes two, and Gwyneth doesn’t need to engage; she’s too busy promoting what will be a massive blockbuster, doing cooking demonstrations on morning television and being loved by the Carters. Convincing people they want your life (even when they don’t like you) is a talent.
This morning, many readers wrote in about a mini social media sh-tstorm when The Honest Company sent a letter to The Honest Toddler, a satirical blog written from the perspective of a child. If you spend 10 seconds on the blog, it’s clear that it has nothing to do with e-commerce or eco-friendly baby wipes.
But I guess The Honest Company wants to own all things “honest” so they sent a cease and desist to the blogger, which she then posted about on Facebook. The post has since been deleted but it’s the internet – nothing is ever really gone.
Backlash from The Honest Toddler supporters came quickly, and The Honest Company immediately backpedalled, calling it a “misunderstanding” and offered to make nice with a phone call and a diaper giveaway.
Is any of this Alba’s fault? Well that depends. She wants us to know that she is involved in every detail of her company, so if that is the case, she would have known about the letter. This is the danger of celebrities aligning themselves so closely with companies – there is no distinction between Alba and The Honest Company (which is how she wants it), so when the company acts like an asshole, she acts like an asshole.
By attempting to go after this little blog, she’s drawn the ire of working moms, single moms, married moms, stay-at-home moms – basically anyone with a kid (I even saw some tweets from dads). So are the parents overreacting or has Jessica Alba miscalculated her entire brand? Without the moms, it doesn’t work. And right now, it’s not working.
Attached -- Alba at Jessica Simpson’s baby shower the other day, very generous with her celebrity friends.