“I’m not the best actress that ever lived, but I know I’m pretty good.” J.
The resulting 5,400 words drawn from their encounter has become classic: Jennifer Lopez, unguarded (or, at least calculatedly "reckless"), dropped bombs all over the shop — Cameron Diaz was a “lucky model”; Gwyneth Paltrow was “hot by association”; Woody Harrelson was “the world’s horniest anteater,” etc.
— and, in the reporter’s retelling, seemingly retained a cool hauteur throughout. Lo most assuredly evokes is one of powerful control (especially after that incredibly frank interview earlier in her career).
The key to marketing herself in a way that feels admirable to her fans is controlling her narrative utterly.
She’s done this through her movie choices (playing romantic, enterprising, and tough, by turns) and TV work (playing “herself” on Will and Grace and allowing her persona to be sent up, and her recent appearance on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke) and her music (she moves with prevailing trends but crucially never leaves behind her core fandom), but it is away from those ventures that she has shaped culture most pressingly.
The Jennifer Lopez Way™ is to shine without apology, artfully weathering the waxing and waning of her audience’s interest, while keeping us transfixed.
The genre of borderline-creepy interviews of young Hollywood "starlets" by magazine men — oily throwbacks to an era of more overt male power — has become a source of rich comedy on social media over the last few years.
The photo is a more relaxed glamour than the gilded behind-the-scenes photos her account also showcases, and her hashtags, “#workingmamalife” and #backatit,” are self-explanatory.
Lopez is Every Woman, and that makes her relatable too.
Lo’s atrociously basic answer when asked if she was a feminist. It feels like such a Sixties word,” Lopez told Stylist magazine in 2013. I don’t know, I am a very girly girl, I have a lot of girly friends and I cherish my time with them.” But like Queen Bey, Lopez does not sacrifice what she is not prepared to see burn anyway — creative choices are made decisively (both have severed ties with years-long management over the years, for example), and storms are weathered stoically (elevator-gate or Bennifer fallout) Their behavior is the diametric opposite of recklessness.
No opportunities are missed — witness her "bring your kids to work day" photo on Instagram, from the set of her cop drama Shades of Blue back in April, for example, in which she is wearing her work wig with her kids in the foreground — because it is all in service of the life and image she’s been crafting so carefully.
What she is truly best at is seizing the moment and striding confidently in the direction of success.