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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

Maluma Brought J Lo On-Stage For A Duet, But The Latino Stars Are Planning Something Bigger

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Maluma Brought J Lo On-Stage For A Duet, But The Latino Stars Are Planning Something Bigger

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For the second time in his career, and second year in a row, Colombian reggaeton star, Maluma performed in New York’s Madison Square Garden. The reggaetonero surprised fans at his sold-out show by inviting the diva from the Bronx, Jennifer Lopez to join him on stage. 

Jennifer Lopez joined Maluma on stage at his sold-out show, but not for the reasons you’re thinking…

credit Instagram @jlover.__

It feels like it’s J.Lo’s world and we’re all just living in it. 2019 has been Jenny from the Block’s year, and she’s not slowing down anytime soon. The Boricua’s still promoting her hit film Hustlers, which has earned her the best reviews of her career. She crashed Milan Fashion Week last month and broke the internet in her iconic 2000s Versace dress, she’s launching a skin care line soon, and all the while she’s planning a wedding to former baseball player Alex Rodriguez, that will no doubt be epic.

The two latino super stars performed J.Lo and Marc Antony’s classic ballad ‘No Me Ames’

Last week, Lopez hit the ground running right after she threw a lavish engagement party in L.A. with husband to be A-Rod, and took Maluma fans by surprise when she joined the singer on stage at Madison Square Garden to sing her 1999 hit ‘No me ames’—but not for the reasons you might think. 

On Friday, October 4, Jennifer Lopez, walked on stage through a hidden trap door to join Maluma for a duet. ‘No me ames’, a 90s classic, was first popularized by J.Lo and ex-husband Marc Anthony. Maluma’s performance was a tad dissappointing to say the least. Social media users described it as “a bad attempt to reach ‘el astro de la salsa’s’ notes. Maluma regrettably stumbled over a few of Anthony’s lines, which Lopez tactfully recovered by singing them herself.

According to HOLA! USA magazine, fans “roared as J.Lo rose up centerstage in a spume of smoke like a Greek goddess.” The 50-year-old singer actress looked breathtaking in her gold-ensemble and bold lip color. While her statueque gown gave us major J.Lo vibes, we should point out that on stage, she was channeling a character named “Kat.” As it turned out, the two Latino music stars used the 25 year old’s sold out concert as an ideal backdrop to film a scene for an upcoming rom-com starring Lopez, Maluma and Owen Wilson.

J.Lo’s upcoming movie ‘Marry Me’ starring herself, also includes Owen Wilson and king of reggaeton, Maluma.

credit Instagram @maluma

The romantic comedy “Marry Me” is the pop star’s latest project of the year. Based on Bobby Crosby’s graphic novel, the film is about a pop star, similar to Lopez herself, who finds out her fiancé is cheating on her with her assistant. After an epic meltdown during a concert at Madison Square Garden, the pop star picks a random math teacher to marry. Owen Wilson is set to play the math teacher that is forced to navigate a new relationship with the popstar. According to a casting announcement by Deadline, Colombian singer and reggaetonero, Maluma, will play Lopez’s cheating fiancé.

The two artists took to social media to share a sneak peek of the first days of filming.

“The art of collaboration…it’s what I love about this business!!! True magic happens when inspiration meets the absence of ego. It’s so much fun when different artists come together and everyone contributes to create something special and true and real for everyone to experience and enjoy!! Issa flow… Here we go!!!,” wrote the Second act actress on Instagram. ‘Chantaje’ singer replied to her post writing, ‘I’m so grateful’. 

The singer also shared on Instagram, a short clip of their performance in NYC.

Upon wrapping their theatrical duet, Maluma informed his fans in Spanish that a camera crew had filmed the whole scene for use in the movie — but Lopez would have to re-shoot her extravagant trap door reveal just a few more times. Unmoved by Hollywood magic, the New Yorkers audibly complained — but ultimately complied, and with a lot of applause.

Described as Notting Hill meets The Proposal, ‘Marry Me’ starts as a goof and ends up becoming an exploration of relationships, expectations and destiny. The film’s release date has not been announced yet, but we can’t wait to see how their iconic performance will translate to the big screen!

A Newly Restored Version of The 90s ‘Selena’ Classic Film Starring Jennifer Lopez Is Coming To The Big Screen Again

Entertainment

A Newly Restored Version of The 90s ‘Selena’ Classic Film Starring Jennifer Lopez Is Coming To The Big Screen Again

Selena /Warner Bros.

Twenty-two years have passed since Latinas across the globe watched in awe as Jennifer Lopez took on the role of Tejano music icon Selena in the biopic of her life. The 1997 classic lovingly spotlighted the singer’s life and death years ago and, in the years since, has been a sort of cultural Latino touchstone for young girls who didn’t have the chance to grow up watching the singer herself.

Now, young Latinas who didn’t get to see the classic in the theaters during its original release will have a chance to do just that this weekend.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music has announced that it will screen a new digital print of the film in theaters this weekend.

Back in 1997, when the film was originally released, “Selena” spent fifteen weeks at the box office. It’s time in theaters proved that Latinos could not only direct films, but they could star in them as well while also drawing massive audiences to movie theater seats. At the time, the film marked a breakout moment for actress, singer, and dancer Jennifer Lopez.

If you’re in NYC this weekend and plan on attending the screening, here are some fun facts to remember while watching!

Fans of Selena protested when they learned Jennifer Lopez was playing Selena.

Selena /Warner Bros.

Selena’s fans began protesting the film once they learned that Jennifer Lopez was taking on the role of their beloved singer. Many thought that Lopez, a Puerto Rican from New York, was unfit to play the Mexican-American from Texas.

Six other women gave J.Lo a run for her money.

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Selena /Warner Bros.

Three women from the open call were selected and three other actresses including Salma Hayek and Bibi Gaytán were considered.

Jackie Guerra lied about her talents.

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Selena /Warner Bros.

Jackie Guera who played the role of Suzette, wanted the role so badly that she lied at her audition and said that she was an expert drummer. Suzette later gave her private lessons.

“Selena” almost became a victim of brownface.

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Selena /Warner Bros.

The film’s director had to fight to get Lopez the role of Selena. At the time, Warner Bros was considering a non-Latina actress to take on the role which would have been AWFUL.

Jennifer Lopez lip-synched

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Selena /Warner Bros.

Creators feared that fans would be upset if they saw Lopez singing the song on her own. So Lopez was coached to lip-synch instead.

Abraham Quintanilla didn’t want to show Selena’s murder.

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Selena /Warner Bros.

The film which came out just two years after Selena’s death was likely a very hard project for Abraham to work on. He didn’t want to show his daughter’s death but the film’s director convinced him it was necessary.

Constance Marie could be Jennifer Lopez’s sister.

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Selena /Warner Bros.

Lopez and Marie play mother and daughter in the movie. But in real life, Marie is only 4 years older than Jennifer Lopez.