Mom Who Inspires: Camila Alves
All week, we're spotlighting celebrities who have experienced a profound shift from motherhood, and are now using that transformation to be the change they want to see in the world. Next up: Camila Alves.
Brazilian model Camila Alves is a knockout all on her own, but when the talented beauty steps out with her Oscar-winning husband Matthew McConaughey and their three adorable children (Livingston, 2, Vida, 5, and Levi, 6), well, cue the "aww's." But when she's not spending time with that picture-perfect family of hers, she can often be found partaking in something else close to her heart. Together with McConaughey, they run the Just Keep Livin Foundation, dedicated to empowering high-school students by providing them with the tools to lead active lives. She sat down with us to chat about what the charity means to her, her growing family, and the secret to being a good mother and wife.
What does this foundation mean to you?
Matthew and I are extremely passionate about it. We started the Just Keep Livin Foundation together about eight years ago and it’s been extremely successful. The amount of lives that we’ve changed and the way that they have been changed has surpassed our expectation way more than we ever expected it to.
I get emotional talking about it because even here you see the kids are here today – I’m a mother of three I can’t talk with kids. We started [the program] as nutrition-- it’s exercise, it’s nutrition and budget, it’s a gratitude circle, it’s giving back but what we didn’t realize is that by doing that, it really takes them to a completely different perspective that they’ve never been exposed to. Things that we take for granted, like kids that have never even taken a bus across town. So they start to see those things and they really change their lives and they can focus on doing better and being better.
All of a sudden they look at their environment—those kids are so used to seeing this is what it is this, this is what life is, so I have no way out of it, so I’m just going to get into drugs, I’m just going to get into gangs, stay at home and get overweight and not do anything with my life because I don’t have any supervision, my parents are working to try to pay for the bills because they can barely pay for it and what am I going to do? No inspiration to push to do anything else, which we had from our parents, right? And it’s not that the parents don’t want to it’s cause they can’t and they try but they’re just too busy trying to put food on the table. The kids get exposed to so much and all of a sudden you see it and you get the families to come in and talk about how much they change and how much they overcome and how much they’re changing their families and their families habits and it’s a lot. It’s pretty neat.
Matthew talked to me about what is the secret to being a good husband and father; what’s your secret to being a good wife and being a good mother?
You have to pick your battles on what really matters and what doesn’t. You gotta be flexible. And just really not try to change each other. As the days, the years, the weeks pass by I think it’s always important to remember why did we get here in the first place, you know? Why did we fall in love with each other in the first place--and with that knowledge you try to keep that going somehow.
How would you describe your personal style?
When you're a mother of three, I'm lucky if I get to brush my hair in the morning! It's more about what I can get done or not. I try to keep it basic and add in a few accessories.
What are your plans for Mother's Day?
My only requests are to be with the family and to celebrate. I don’t want to make any decisions, and I don’t want to wash any dishes!