Jennifer Lopez has always been a confident one. The actress-singer has never shied away from claiming that she is one of the bests in Hollywood. However, in her Netflix documentary Halftime, which was released earlier this year, the Maid in Manhattan star opened up about the struggles she has had to face in the industry for being different and not fitting in the universalized standard of beauty back then, among other things.
JLo has again opened up about her pride in being a Latina, in an interview for Today. The singer talked about the liberation she felt in embracing her culture and physique.
“This is my body… It’s just who I was”
Lopez shared how even when she was young, her parents always encouraged her to “be proud of who I was.” She said,
“This is my body… It’s just who I was. And so when I went into these worlds, like Hollywood, where we were not represented at all, I almost felt like a unicorn. ‘I’m Latina. I’m Jennifer Lopez from the Bronx. And my parents are Puerto Rican, I’m Puerto Rican.’ And I think it made me feel special.”
Even her interviewer Radford agreed with Lopez, adding that she did not let the others “pigeonhole” her into being different from her real self.
Jennifer Lopez on Hollywood’s whitewashed and ageist beauty standards
“Even the whole body thing was such a thing. It was like, everybody was like size zero models, tall, blonde — beautiful, a certain type of beauty — but there was other types of beauty that I grew up with.
Back in July, Lopez celebrated her 53rd birthday with a naked photo shoot, which was also part promotion for the launch of JLo Body by JLo Beauty. JLo had told PEOPLE at the time,
” ‘Beauty has no expiration date’ was always my personal mantra because I’m in a business where youth is glorified and people try to write, especially women, off at a certain time. It’s like, ‘Oh, you’re done no more movies for you. We don’t want your music anymore.’ Growing up, I looked up to people like Diana Ross and Cher and Tina Turner, and they were in their 50s and they were beautiful and almost coming into their own at that time.”
Lopez further shared that one of her perennial fans throughout her career, at least at the start and now still is her now-husband Ben Affleck. She said,
“He is like, ‘I like you when you have nothing on. No hair on, no makeup on, just you in your own skin. He really appreciates that. And that makes me feel really confident and beautiful. Someone can see the essence of who you are and just the skin that you’re in and that I take care of that and that he appreciates that. That makes me feel really beautiful too.”
Lopez’s words reflect her confidence but the Selena actor has also been vocal, especially in Halftime, about how hard it had been for her to fare in a biased industry, where she was often concerned that she was made fun of, or that her body was not a perfect fit. She has indeed come a long way.