Jessica Alba does not view Gwyneth Paltrow as competition, nor does the actress and co-founder of The Honest Company see Blake Lively or Reese Witherspoon as rivals. In fact, as she explains in Allure's September issue, she finds it "unfair" to "lump actresses together" when they launch their own business ventures.
"People aren't lumping Justin Timberlake and Ashton Kutcher together. They do other businesses," she says in reference to the singer, 34, who bought a $35 million stake in MySpace in 2011, and the TV star, 37, who is a venture capitalist. "I think it's expected that when you get success in one area, you're supposed to evolve and try to do something else—especially in business, and especially if you're a man."
Paltrow has Goop, Lively has Preserve and Witherspoon has Draper James.
According to Alba, there's room for each of the actresses—herself included—to succeed. Perhaps Kerry Washington explained the problem best in a 2012 TV interview with Oprah Winfrey: "I think we buy into this idea of competition, but it comes from the myth that there's a lack—that if I succeed, somebody else can't. As opposed to, 'If I succeed, I create an opportunity for others to follow suit.'"
Alba, it seems, would agree with Washington's sentiment.
Paltrow told TIME in June that she finds sexist undertones in brand comparisons. "I'm fascinated how the media in particular are so confounded by entrepreneurial women doing something outside of their box," she said. "Jessica, especially, who's a friend of mine—our businesses could not be more different. There's not a lifestyle piece to her business. The fundamentals of our sites are very different. Reese launched—our businesses have similarities, but hers has retail. People are grasping at straws to tie us together and I get it, because it makes a good story, but I'm slightly offended by this sort of generalization that happens with myself and Jessica and Reese and Blake. Yes, there are similarities. But there aren't stories in TIME written saying, "Wow, look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, who did x, y, and z!"
Paltrow added, "I feel there's something slightly misogynistic about it."
Since The Honest Company launched in 2011, Alba has focused less on acting.
"I never wanted to play into a stereotype, where it's like, 'Oh, you're just the girl who gets saved by the guy,' and she doesn't know how to make decisions, and she gets overwhelmed with all this stuff happening around her," the Barely Lethal actress says of carefully choosing her roles. "Women are freaking resilient." Alba is also against doing onscreen nudity. "If there's a role where I feel comfortable doing that, sure. It's just I never felt like being naked was going to make the movie any better," she tells Allure. "If anything, it was just going to exploit me for no reason."
For more on The Honest Company, watch Alba's interview with E! News: