Mexican-American actress Jessica Alba chose to launch her new beauty line at a Trump hotel because not everyone has the radical, separatist, Young Lordsian identity politics of Ricky Martin, Salma Hayek, or Pitbull.
Alba, 34, famous for her roles in Fantastic Four and Sin City, launched her Honest Beauty cosmetics and skincare line on Wednesday night at the Trump SoHo Hotel in Manhattan. Alba co-founded Honest Company, which sells diapers, bath and body products, in 2011. And just last week, that company was hit with a lawsuit over claims that its sunscreen is defective.
But, as far as I know, nobody has brought up a less burning, if you will, but still troubling Jessica-Alba-Business-related question: why would you choose to hold an event for anything at any place associated with Donald Trump? Why would anyone do that? The nice thing about the Donald, is that he is such a renaissance man of hate, you don’t have to be Latino to be offended by him. Indeed, model Chrissy Teigen, actors Jeffrey Wright, Aaron Paul, Rosie O’Donnell, singer Neil Young, and rapper Flo Rida are but a few of the non-Latino celebrities who have condemned the mogul.
But Trump’s sexism and more generalized racism pale in comparison to his anti-immigrant and particularly anti-Latino and even more particularly anti-Mexican vitriol and policy plans. Among Trump’s high profile Latino critics, journalist Jorge Ramos, who has been dubbed the Walter Cronkite of Latino America, is probably the most politically informed and grounded. But you don’t have to be an immigrants-rights advocate-intellectual to be upset by what Trump has to say about Mexicans and Latinos, which is why actors Eva Longoria (Mexican-American), Salma Hayek (Mexican), America Ferrera (Honduran-American), comedian George Lopez (Mexican-American), singers Shakira (Colombian), Ricky Martin (Puerto Rican) and rapper Pitbull (Cuban-American) have criticized Trump.
Jessica Alba has been accused of distancing herself from her Latina identity (or lack thereof), over comments like,
Alba is my last name and I’m proud of that. But that’s it. My grandparents were born in California, the same as my parents, and though I may be proud of my last name, I’m American.
I had a very American upbringing, I feel American, and I don’t speak Spanish. So, to say that I’m a Latin actress, OK, but it’s not fitting; it would be insincere.
My grandfather was the only Mexican at his college, the only Hispanic person at work and the only one at the all-white country club. He tried to forget his Mexican roots, because he never wanted his kids to be made to feel different in America. He and my grandmother didn’t speak Spanish to their children. Now, as a third-generation American, I feel as if I have finally cut loose.”
As a non-Latina, I’m certainly not in a position to lecture anyone about how to be a good or authentic Latina. And I can’t force anyone to speak out against Donald Trump, though refraining from mocking him would be nearly impossible for me personally. But is it asking too much to hope and expect that celebrities, regardless of their ethnicity, hold their events at the venues that are not owned by Trump?