She grew up in a family that was conservative and Catholic, though she now describes herself as liberal. Jessica Alba also suffered from a variety of illnesses growing up which led to her feelings of isolation.
Jessica Alba graduated from high school early and attended the Atlantic Theater Company.
After winning a prize in Beverly Hills to get free acting classes, Jessica Alba was subsequently signed by an agent. Jessica Alba's first role was in "Camp Nowhere." She also appeared in commercials for Nintendo and J.C. Penney. Jessica said of her early days in Hollywood, "Nobody really knew what to do with me. Everyone wants to categorize you and pigeonhole you. I'm half Latin, but I grew up in the States, and I can't get roles playing a Latina because I don't speak Spanish. And I didn't want to be the best friend, or the promiscuous girl, or the maid, because those stereotypes still exist with Latin roles. I wanted to be a leading lady. .Brown skin shouldn't make any difference. Why should only Aryan-looking girls be that girl?" (elle.com).
Other roles followed, including parts in "The Secret World of Alex Mack," "Flipper," "Brooklyn South," "The Love Boat: The Next Wave," "Never Been Kissed," but her big break came when she landed on "Dark Angel," beating out nearly 1000 other candidates.
Jessica Alba's star continued to rise with roles in "Sin City," "Into the Blue," "Fantastic Four," "Spy Kids 4," "Valentine's Day, and "The Eye."
Sometimes her onscreen charms go against Jessica Alba's desire for meatier roles. Said the director for "Into the Blue," "Executives at MGM could barely focus on what was happening on screen because they were do distracted by how good she looked in a bikini. I would literally get notes saying, 'Hey, why did you cut that one shot of Jessica swimming by?'" (elle.com).
Contradicting earlier statements, Jessica Alba said, "Of course I'm proud of my heritage! That's all I know! I don't even know my mom's side of the family. I only know a Mexican-American upbringing."
Jessica Alba is actively involved with charities such as Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, ONE, Habitat for Humanity, and Project HOME among others. She has gone so far to found her own company, The Honest Company, which provides safe, eco-friendly and affordable product options for babies.
Jessica Alba was once engaged to Michael Weatherly, her co-star from "Dark Angel" but the relationship didn't last. She said, "I don't know why [I got engaged]. I was a virgin. He was 12 years older than me. I thought I knew better. My parents weren't happy." She added in another interview, "No more actors. I like to work with them, but I don't need to be in a relationship with one."