Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jessica Alba: “I’m excited for my baby to be brown”

Jessica AlbaPregnant Jessica Alba has hit back at "haters" who claim she is ashamed of her Latina roots - insisting: "I'm excited for my baby to be brown."

Sin City star Alba, 26, has long been attacked on the internet and by Latin reporters for not being proud of her heritage and not speaking Spanish.

But now Alba stands proud on the cover of Latina magazine, insisting: "I always took pride in being Latina."

And the pregnant actress also revealed that she is now taking Spanish lessons - and plans to only speak Spanish to her baby.

Alba insists that both she and fiance? Cash Warren hope their heritage - both Alba's Mexican side and Warren's African American - will be clearly evident in their child. "I'm excited for my baby to be brown," Alba insisted.

"I just have to believe the dark gene is going to survive.

"Cash and I are like, 'Please'."

She believes that, ironically, rather than hiding her Latina roots she feels that everyone else is trying to steal some of her "flavor".

"I like that I look different; I like having flavour," she said.

"I think it's funny that women get their lips injected, butt implants - everyone wants to look like us now."

Alba - whose father is Mexican-American and was born in California - admits she has been reduced to tears by the attacks from Latina media. "I cried later," she said, saying she felt they were "really mean" and showing that they "just didn't accept me".

She insists the reaction made her confused about where she belonged. "I always took pride in being Latina, it's something I always embraced," she said. "But when I got shunned, it made me feel really bad, like maybe I'm not."

But now she is eager to make a bigger effort to reach out to the Latin community.

Asked if she wants to speak Spanish, she said: "Yeah - hell yeah!'"

She added: "I wish to God that my dad spoke Spanish to my brother and me, but he didn't grow up with it."

She revealed that she is already taking lessons, and has considered making "a move to a country for three months" to immerse herself in the language. "Hopefully I can pick it up because I want my kids to speak Spanish," she said. "I don't even want them to speak English for maybe the first two to three years, until pre-school.

"We're in the United States so they're going to learn it anyway."

She says the abuse from the Spanish-speaking media got so bad she told her publicist she would no longer do any more Latin events. "I can't go on the press lines and have people make me feel bad about myself," she said. "Life is too short. I can't change how I grew up, and I can't apologise for it."

She hopes learning Spanish may help bring an end to that self-imposed exile from Latin pressrooms.

"I'll feel more comfortable when I speak Spanish so I'm not offensive to them," she said. "I need to know the language in order to make progress in the Latin community. It would make things easier."

Now she is proud that "mainstream" America watches her in blockbuster movies, and starts to see how mixed-heritage people like herself are the real face of America. "I was always trying to figure out 'How the hell am I going to be mainstream?'," she said. "How are people going to accept me?

"When are they going to get a clue that I am American, that this is what America looks like - people like me who are mixed, have different blood, mixed with different ethnicities? When are the people who are hiring for these jobs and writing these screenplays going to realize that?'"

But she was also wary of taking the Latina character roles she was offered because of the stereotypes they reinforced. Instead, she is waiting for a role that is "someone who embodies how I want people to view a Latina woman - not a gangster or a slut".

The big break for her, she insists, came not with Hollywood but ad-land, when she was chosen as the new face of Revlon. "It appeals to the mass market - and the faces are me and Halle [Berry]," she said, proudly.

"I love that we're representing America."

By Lee Brown, Feb 20 2008 © Copyright 2008 - Showbiz Spy

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