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Jessica Alba: EW's Celebrity Mom Chat

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The busy actress, entrepreneur, and mom of two told us what daughters Honor and Haven are watching and reading these days, why the name Nicki Minaj was big in her house last month, and why the portrayal of girls and women in media matters to her.—As told to Abby West

ON WHAT HER GIRLS ARE INTO THESE DAYS

The baby is into kind of touch-and-feel books, cardboard tactile books. In the kitchen, once and a while when I’m cooking, I put on Little Pim, super basic language learning DVDs that have little characters. And Honor, she’s into movies, nothing too scary. She did see Brave, wearing her costume and everything. She said there was one scary part, when the mom turned into a bear, but she brings up Merida all the time. She made quite an impression. She also likes Nick Jr. and is really into Dora. She watches most of her kind of movies and television on the planes.  And we travel a lot, so she gets into it on the planes. And I’m so appreciative of it.

As far as the iPad goes, she has a princess dress-up app or the Cookie Doodle, make your own cookie app. But I always make her do an educational app too, like a spelling app. She doesn’t have a great attention span when it comes to that. She usually ends up going to the photos and taking photos of everything and video.

She loves anything with a princess or a mermaid or a fairy. She has no discretion. We could just go on and on with that. And the princess books we have are all about princesses also helping people who are in need, who don’t have the things we have. I try to give her a spin on it so it’s not just about a prince coming in and sweeping you off your feet and that’s the best day of your life. A princess’s job is to help with the children who don’t have clothes. Or to help clean up the planet. That’s something I talk to her about. Real princesses give back to the earth and they’re kind to animals [laughs] and I try to tell her that’s what being a princess is. Not just that you’re born into that family.

She loves Dr. Seuss books, obviously, and is into Olivia. But Dr. Ted is another book she’s obsessed with. It’s about a little boy who pretends he’s a doctor for the day.

We’re really into trying to do as much of an educational spin on it as possible. We encourage her to ask questions along the way. We’re not into propping our kids in front of the television and letting that be the time they spend at home. I’m really into arts and crafts and mixing up the media and pop culture we expose them to. READ FULL STORY

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