Just like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba is building a brand focused on promoting healthy, natural living. Both are published authors with wellness websites and lines developing product lines… But, that’s basically where the similarities end. Whereas Paltrow largely comes across as preachy and entitled, Alba’s tips are practical and adaptable. This is especially evident when comparing Alba’s new manual, The Honest Life, to Paltrow’s upcoming cookbook.
Paltrow’s book, It’s All Good, was recently criticized by the New York Post as coming across “like the manifesto to some sort of creepy healthy-girl sorority with members who use beet juice rather than permanent marker to circle the ‘problem areas’ on each other’s bodies.” In contrast, Alba’s book seems to steer pretty clear of body- and diet-talk. Instead, Alba focuses eliminating toxins from the home through easy, inexpensive steps.
“You can take what you want from the book,” Alba explained to the Daily News.
She also doesn’t seem hesitant to engage in the inevitable celebrity-to-celebrity comparison.
“Alicia Silverstone is a vegan, so she’s the extreme side of it,” she said. “Gwyneth Paltrow probably lives a very similar lifestyle, but I didn’t grow up with a bunch of money, so my tips are much more grounded: Repurposing things and making things at home.”
Naturally, there is still some criticism for Alba’s attempt to jump on the green-powered bandwagon. For one, she may not have grown up with “a bunch of money,” but she’s definitely living comfortably these days. Showing that she’s a bit out-of-touch, she suggested starting with an easy tip…
“There’s lots of options, like delivery services for fresh produce that is organic, if people just want to do a couple of things in the book that are super easy.”
Although that tip may be as easy as placing an online order, it also costs more money. Specifically, a case study of organic and conventional market prices showed that organic options are generally 120 to 160 percent more expensive. That’s just not a feasible option for the one-in-six Americans who deal with hunger.
Even if money isn’t the biggest issue, some readers were unconvinced Alba’s tips — which include making baby food, working with a prenatal yoga instructor and labelling every item in the closet — were truly worth the effort.
“I don’t think anyone who’s an average person has any of the resources: Time, money or, quite frankly, the patience,” said Samantha Willner to the Daily News.
To be fair, it’s nearly impossible to write a universally appealing book. In this case, there just seem to be fewer critics of Alba’s book than Paltrow’s.