©‘There’s no way in the world that just because women turn the number 40, they’re anything less than amazing. That’s crazy. If anything, you’re even more amazing!’
~ Jennifer Lopez
I am not now, nor have I ever been, a fangirl. To me, famous people are just people with a skill or a talent or something uniquely appealing to the masses. Old Hollywood, in particular, was a place of otherworldliness; a place where stars shone not only above the city, but also around every corner, and down every block. The majority of the stars in that bygone era would have been men of various ages, and more often than not, women under 30. Quoting from an article cited in the Washington Post, “up until their late 20s, women get more leading roles than men; however, beyond age 40, over 80 percent of leading roles go to men.” (Guo).
You might be wondering what this has to do with Jennifer Lopez? Quite a bit, actually. Miss JLo is an anomaly – she just turned 49 years old and seems to be garnering more popularity than ever in her career. In an industry and a society that prizes beautiful people, her sexy curves are undeniably part of the draw. The bigger picture, I think, is that as a 49-year-old, she clearly puts in a tremendous amount of effort to be who she wants to be. Additionally, she has real-world experience to give her the confidence to be comfortable in her skin. As of this writing, Jennifer Lopez has 44.2 million Twitter followers and more than 80 million Instagram followers. She can be seen on the television series’ Shades of Blue and World of Dance: the televised dance competition that she executive produces. She can also be found in attendance at various events within the television and music industry, and she just wrapped up a three-year residency in Las Vegas where she performed “15 shows in 27 days!” (Instagram):
© Jennifer Lopez Instagram
Did I mention she also has ten-year-old twins?!
It is as a stay-at-home-mom of eight-year-old twins and a twelve-year-old preteen that Miss Lopez danced her way onto my radar. We both have twins, yet her body is gorgeous while mine suffers from Taco Tuesdays. Her skin appears flawless on this side of the camera while I am currently hiding a pimple (two, actually) that I earned from eating a bag of peanut M&M’s (FYI I am considering proposing legislation to my state government that would outlaw pimples after the age of 26. Let me know if I can count on your support!). JLo expresses warmth and kindness towards the children she encounters on her shows; she is charitable; she is super energetic; she is playful and happy; and she seems to be in her prime at 49 years old.
Over the last few years, I would say that Jennifer Lopez has engaged in a worthy media blitz to promote all things JLo. Publicity is a necessary aspect of her business and ultimate success so I do not frown upon her self-promotion. In fact, I applaud her for it – she is doing a fantastic job! So what else about Jennifer Lopez inspires me?
- She has been working hard in her industry for decades. America first met her in 1990 when she appeared as a Fly Girl on the comedy show In Living Color (see below) and again with her performance in the biopic Selena.
- As a celebrity involved in relationships with other celebrities, she has endured high-profile breakups. Many high-profile breakups, actually, because Jennifer Lopez has rarely been without a romantic partner for any length of time. And she has been married and divorced three times. Although this fact might turn some people off, I find it makes her real. Even more-so when you consider what she had to say about it during an American Idol panel: “I’m one of those people who does not like to be alone. I have no shame saying that at this point in my life. I think we have to own who we are.” Yes! I agree!
- I know I am preaching to the choir when I tell you it is not easy getting into shape after having kids – let alone twins. Jennifer’s physical appearance is representative of the effort that she is willing to put into herself. So many people want rewards without hard work, and we see it in America’s obesity and preventable disease statistics. Jennifer reminds me that if I want to look and feel a certain way, I need to get up and make it happen. If my jeans don’t fit, that is a consequence of my own actions!
- What about the people who say that Jennifer has it easy because she has money to pay for help – nannies to help with her children; a chef to feed her healthfully; a stylist to keep her hair and makeup looking terrific? How many of us say, “sure, I’d look good too, if I had that much money?” Snarkitysnarksnarksnark
To that, I say, NO. Put that green monster away and recognize that Jennifer has the opportunities she has because she has worked incredibly hard to make those opportunities. Instead of putting out negative energy lamenting what I don’t have, I am inspired by Jennifer to look at myself and ask, what can I do to achieve the kind of life that I would like to have? Am I really putting in day after day of planning and effort or should I reconsider the time I spend watching reality T.V. and eating salad with crumbled Oreos on top?
- Jennifer’s philanthropy. According to the website, Look to the Stars, Jennifer has made contributions and/or has been involved with fundraising for numerous charities. To name a few:
- American Foundation for AIDS research
- Boys and Girls Clubs of America
- Every Mother Counts
- New York City Police Foundation
- Red Cross (for a complete list, go to looktothestars.org/celebrity/jennifer-lopez).
- Lopez Family Foundation: She and her sister, Lynda, founded this organization that “advocates and invests in policies and programs that make a positive, measurable impact on communities and makes quality healthcare and health education available for underserved mothers and their children” (lopez).
- $1 million donation to assist Puerto Rico (her ancestral home) with recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria, plus
- Jennifer, her current boyfriend Alex Rodriguez, and her ex-husband Marc Anthony sought donations and hosted a charity concert to raise money for the benefit of Puerto Rico. As of October 2017, their efforts had raised $35 million, including each of their personal donations.
There you have it: five reasons why Jennifer Lopez inspires me. Take note, please, that it is not about money and fame, nor is it about people who spend their time working hard as just another cog in the machine. Jennifer Lopez inspires me because she works hard to pursue her dreams. I am in pursuit of my dreams as well, so it is motivating to see another mama killin’ it. Because, at the end of the day, even though Jennifer Lopez is a superstar, she is also a mama with her hair in a messy bun, just trying to make it all work.
Tell me, readers, what professional woman inspires you and why?
© Angel Jameson 2018
Guo, Jeff. “Why the age of 40 is so important in Hollywood.” The Washington Post, washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/09/19/these-charts-reveal-how-bad-the-film-industrys-sexism-is/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.251ebf44b5fc.
“In Loving Color Intro. to Jennifer Lopez.” YouTube, uploaded by Chris Brown 18 September 2014. youtu.be/bR4enz485_Q
Kaufman, Gena. “Discuss: Is It Ok for Jennifer Lopez to Admit She Doesn’t Like Being Alone?” Glamour, glamour.com/story/jennifer-lopez-admits-she-does..