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On Her 50th Birthday, 15 Women Of Color Tell Us What Jennifer Lopez Means to Them

There are few Latinas who have made as big of an impact on the world of pop culture as Jennifer Lopez. From her days as a Fly Girl to the triple-threat who has sold over 80 Million records worldwide that she is now, JLo is a global icon. The Boricua has made headlines with her jaw-dropping fashions, star-studded relationships, and her elaborate performances. Lopez has done all this while repping the Latinidad and supporting her Puerto Rican roots.

On July 24th, the diva hits another huge landmark: she’s turning 50! With her upcoming birthday, it’s the perfect time for us to reflect on the impact JLo has had on us as fans, on the Latinidad, and on pop culture. We asked women of color to share what the star means to them.

Here’s what they had to say about JLo.

1. The icon who never gives up on her dreams.

Instagram / @JLo
“JLO is an icon for all women, especially for minorities. She is a woman who doesn’t give up, who set big goals and meets them. Someone many young girls look up to and she allows them to keep dreaming.” — Karina Magallon, Body Activist

2. The Selena connection.

Instagram / @multifandom_world_92

“To me, she will always be tied to my love of Selena, she did so well in that role, I felt closer to Selena as a child. It seems silly, but the loss of my first hero felt less tragic because all I needed to do was watch the movie and I wouldn’t be sad anymore. So Jennifer Lopez allowed me to cope because of her great acting ability.” — Sonya, Houston

3. A celebration of la cultura.

Instagram / @JLo

“I saw myself on screen for the first time in JLo. She celebrated my values, my features, and my culture unapologetically. I was too young to know Selena when she was alive, but JLo’s performance enabled me to know two Latina queens ???? She gave me the confidence to go after my goals in the most fierce way possible ????????????” — @getitgens

4. Body positive legend.

Instagram / @JLo

“I just wanted to be her, that’s all. I was made fun of for a big butt growing up. She definitely helped my feel more comfortable with my body, then big butts became a thing and I was like???????????? ????????” — @kailababykakes

5. Her lyrics keep us singing.

Instagram / @JLo

“Sis, my love don’t cost a thannngg ????????” — @princessdianae

6. She’s an inspiration to her fans.

Instagram / @JLo

“In SO MANY WAYS! She is my idol and a great source of inspiration — I see myself represented by her and feel so connected to her. ❤️” — @natalieacorrea

7. Fly Girls unite!

Instagram / @80s_90s_nostalgia

“Latina or not – she’s the reason I wanted to be a Fly Girl” — @zerowasteco

8. Confidence Queen.

Instagram / @JLo

“I have always listened to JLo growing up. She definitely made me feel confident about myself. I love her????” — @sydsdanceworld_

9. Her body represented a cultural shift.

Instagram / @JLo

“She became popular around the same time that movies like ‘The Craft’ had a skinny white actress complaining about her butt being too big. As JLo’s popularity grew, so did acceptance of fat asses, and at least SOME curves. She helped end the whole heroine chic look…I appreciated the effect her body had on influencing changes society.” —@lilith.cenobite

10. Forever family-focused.

Instagram / @JLo

“Of course I’ve been a fan of JLo since back in her Selena days, but what really resonates with me is her focus on her family. The co-parenting she and her ex do with their twins seems genuinely good-natured and aimed at keeping their twins happy and loved. All of the pictures she shares of her family on Instagram always make me smile because her family looks so full of love.” — @teoami

11. Her music represents the sounds of the Latinidad.

Instagram / @JLo

“I like that she is there to represent the Latino/a community, gives a little taste of the music and sound that we hear/listen to.” — @wickedly76

12. Success is the name of the game.

Instagram / @JLo

“As an Afro-Latina, I didn’t really see a lot of women who fell into a category of being Black and Latina at the same time. But as a Boricua, I still looked up to J.LO so much. I saw her success and it felt tangible for me. If she could look like she did and have success, I thought maybe I could too.” — Veronica, Chicago

13. The honest misunderstanding.

Instagram / @selenaq212

“I hated her (at first) because I was too young to understand that she was just playing role and not trying to replace Selena ????????????” — @ceegetsfit

14. Two Words:

Instagram / @JLo

“Hoop earrings” — kaycasti

15. THE Latina Fashionista

Instagram / @JLo

“I grew up in a house with a mother who dressed relatively conservatively. (Like she literally wears pearl studs and a cardigan every day.) It’s a style that I’ve always admired and has had a huge influence on my own dress but I do remember seeing J.Lo when she was in her earlier days and really feeling so in awe of her style. Any new trend she was sporting on a magazine cover I was too. I remember seeing her on a Cosmo cover when I was a little girl wearing white and I still try to find dresses like that!” -Akportee / Instagram

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Latina Actresses Are Pivoting to Directing and Producing In Order to Get More Latinx Stories Told

Entertainment

Latina Actresses Are Pivoting to Directing and Producing In Order to Get More Latinx Stories Told

Credit: EVALONGORIA/AMERICAFERRERA/INSTAGRAM ; KEVIN WINTER/GETTY

The numbers are bleak. Latinos make up 18% of America’s population but only 5% of the number of speaking roles in movies in 2019 according to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

Hollywood seems to be late to the party when it comes to Latino representation onscreen. But luckily, there are a handful of Latino artists and creators out there who are taking the fight to appear in front of the screen to behind the camera.

Take, for example, Eva Longoria, who was just announced to be directing and co-starring in the new action-comedy film, “Spa Day”

This marks the third movie the Mexican-American actress will be helming and the first Latina to ever direct more than one major studio film.

The other films on Longoria’s roster include a vehicle for her and Kerry Washington tentatively titled “24/7”, as well as the upcoming biopic “Flamin’ Hot”–a movie centered around Richard Montañez, the man who invented Flaming Hot Cheetos.

Longoria has been candid about how the decision to move into directing and producing has been a strategic one.

“One of the reasons I went into producing and directing was I wasn’t going to sit back and wait for somebody to create a role I wanted to do,” Longoria told Variety in 2018.

“You can’t just sit around waiting for [good projects], and I wanted to create that — not just for myself but for other Latinas.”

But her career transition isn’t unique as a Latina in Hollywood. She has joined the ranks of other Latinas in Hollywood who have began to produce and direct their own projects in order to finally see Latino stories told on screen.

Her peers include Jennifer Lopez (“Shades of Blue“, “Hustlers“), Selena Gomez (“Living Undocumented“), America Ferrera (“Gentefied“, “Superstore“), Gina Rodriguez (“Diary of an American President,” “Carmen San Diego“), and Salma Hayek (“Ugly Betty”).

All of these women have thrown their weight behind projects that otherwise wouldn’t be made if their names weren’t attached to them.

All of these women are creating stories that feature Latino stories and Latino talent–in front of and behind the camera.

America Ferrera explained the reason behind her conscious career pivot from acting to directing/producing: “My genuine heart’s desire is to tell stories that haven’t been told,” she told CBS This Morning. “It’s hard to get stories about people like us made. And then to get those stories told by us is very very uncommon.”

Although the endgame is to have Latinx stories greenlit without having to first be a famous singer or actress, the work these ladies are doing might be laying the foundation for an easier road for future industry players of Latino descent. Or as Longoria so eloquently put it: “If we unite and create opportunities for each other and pull each other up, there could be a lot more success for representation on TV.”

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The Long Awaited Trailer To JLo And Maluma’s ‘Marry Me’ Is Finally Here

Entertainment

The Long Awaited Trailer To JLo And Maluma’s ‘Marry Me’ Is Finally Here

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

One of the year’s biggest collaborations is starting to make more progress after being largely shut down thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. Of course, we’re talking about the upcoming highly-anticipated Jennifer Lopez film, Marry Me, which also stars Maluma in his acting debut.

Although we still have a while to wait before the movie makes its big screen debut (not until 2021), we’re finally getting our first look at what the duo will look like on screen along with other exciting details about the project.

Marry Me finally has an official trailer and JLo and Maluma fans couldn’t be more excited.

It seems like we’ve been hyped up for this film forever – and thanks to Coronavirus, we kinda have. But finally, Universal has released the teaser for Marry Me, and it reveals a few new details about the film and its cast. Along with J.Lo, the film stars Owen Wilson, Sarah Silverman, and Colombian singer Maluma in his major feature debut.

The film was originally announced last summer and production began in October 2019 but much of it was shut down once the Coronavirus struck. The film is directed by Kat Coiro (It’s Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaDead to Me) and features original music by Lopez and Maluma, which sounds too perfect to be legal, sorry.

To celebrate the cinematic milestone, López and Maluma have reported that they are recording a full-length soundtrack of original songs. Maluma Baby is hyped from the time he’s spent in the studio with J.Lo (who wouldn’t be?), telling a reporter last year, “It’s been such an amazing experience also working, doing music. I mean we never stop.”

So here’s everything we know about the film so far.

Credit: Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Based on the graphic novel by Bobby Crosby, the film is described as a “modern love story about celebrity, marriage and social media.” López plays musical sensation Kat Valdez, who agrees to live-stream her marriage with her fellow superstar Bastian (Maluma — fictional or not, this is officially the hottest couple on Planet Earth and we can’t unsee it) in order to boost the sales of their new single and duet, “Marry Me.”

When she finds out that Bastian has been cheating on her, however, she freaks out and decides to marry a stranger in the audience watching: divorced high-school math teacher Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson), who was dragged to the event by his daughter. The unexpected sequence of events leads the two down a path toward unexpected true love.

Even with a new movie coming out, both JLo and Maluma have been hard at work in the studio.

Just last month, Maluma surprise released his latest album – PAPI JUANCHO. It’s Maluma’s fifth studio album and was produced alongside longtime collaborators Rude Boyz. Although the album features Maluma’s alter ego as the main star, it also includes several guest appearances from a number of reggaetón royals, including Justin Quiles, Lenny Tavarez, Myke Towers, and Jory Boy. PAPI JUANCHO was made during quarantine between the singer’s hometown of Medellín and Miami, his U.S. base.

Meanwhile, JLo has teased new music in recent weeks. Jennifer Lopez posted a picture with producer Ryan Tedder over the weekend in which she promised that new music is “just around the corner.”

The snap, in which Lopez is sporting dark red lips and a messy up hairdo alongside the OneRepublic leader and veteran songwriter/producer — rocking a black Mad Tasty hat — doesn’t offer much more detail about what the duo are cooking up, but Lopez seems pretty psyched.

“Can u feeeeeel it… new music just around the corner!!” Lopez wrote.

It would be a welcome return for Lopez, who has only released a remix of “If You Had My Love” so far this year, as fans wait for her to announce a release date for her as-yet-untitled ninth studio album. Lopez’s last full-length was 2014’s A.K.A., which featured the singles “I Luh Ya Papi,” “First Love” and “Booty.”

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