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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

J.Lo’s Celebrating Selena Video Is The Heartwarming Content We Need Right Now

Entertainment

J.Lo’s Celebrating Selena Video Is The Heartwarming Content We Need Right Now

jlo / Instagram

Selena will always be a legend for Latino music lovers. The Tejano singer gave us English and Spanish songs that continue to rock our worlds. Her music is still played on the radio, in bars, and she always makes it to a few playlists out there. This weekend, people took some time to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the release of the biopic honoring the singer.

Jennifer Lopez came through on #CelebratingSelena with her own video honoring the singer and her chance to play the role.

We’ve all seen the movie more times than we care to count. It was probably one of the most impactful movies in our younger years. It was so wonderful to see our culture represented through Selena. It was a rare moment of fully authentic representation and it is not something we will ever forget.

J.Lo’s tweet hit Selena fans in the feels as they all took time to remember the late singer.

Selena was grace and class personified. Her ability to jump into the mainstream as a Latin singer shows the kind of power she had in the music industry. She broke down barriers for Latina artists who have come after her to lead successful careers, like J.Lo and Shakira.

Who could forget the iconic bustier scene?

You know you quote “busti-caca” way more than you want to admit to. It might just be the most quotable line in the whole movie. Now that most of us are working from home until further notice, it would be a great time to watch one of the most iconic Latino films of all time.

It is still inspiring people to pay tribute to La Reina.

Even 25 years after her death, people are loving her sound and keeping her memory alive through tribute videos and just listening to her music. Selena truly is someone people will never forget. She was recently inducted into the Houston Rodeo’s Star Trail of Fame and continues to be a major figure in Latino American pop culture.

Don’t worry. You can spend any day celebrating Selena because she is one person who is always worth celebrating.

READ: Selena Is The First Latin Inducted Into Houston Rodeo’s Star Trail Of Fame

Jennifer Lopez’s Longtime Partner Passes Away At 51

Entertainment

Jennifer Lopez’s Longtime Partner Passes Away At 51

jlo / Instagram

David Crus, the former boyfriend of Jennifer Lopez passed away on Saturday.

According to the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner former boyfriend of Lopez, whom she dated for 10 years died Saturday after succumbing to heart disease. He was fifty-one years old.

Lopez and her former flame began dating in high school.

E!/ Twitter

According to People Magazine, the two got together when Lopez was 15 years old and they dated through the mid-1990s and broke up just before she took up her role in “Selena.” During their time together, Cruz was often spotted accompanying Lopez to premieres and entertainment events including the premier of “Money Train” premiere in November 1995, which saw Lopez starring alongside Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.

Cruz’s longtime partner spoke with TMZ about his death describing him as “kind” and a “devoted father.”

“He was kind and loving. He never held on to anything and was always very open. He was a devoted father, he helped raise his step-son who is now in the Marines,” Cruz’s partner, identified only as Isa by TMZ said in a statement. “He loved the Yankees and Knicks. He loved going to the theatre with me. My favorite moment was family date night, because it wasn’t just special for me but for the kids as well. He always made sure to end things with an ‘I love you.'”

Lopez has yet to make a statement about Cruz’s death.