All hail Queen JLo, especially today since it’s her birthday! Today she has circled the earth 50 times, but we can’t deny that each orbit makes her even better than the last one. That skin, that body, and most importantly, her unstoppable ferocity! She truly is a gem within our Latinx community.
Now, all this praise and admiration from people didn’t come out of nowhere. JLo had to work relentlessly to make a name for herself. Throughout the years, she seems to have unlocked some behaviors to create her own queendom and as everything, there is an art to it. Let’s see what sets her apart with this quick JLo manifesto and how we can incorporate some of these lessons within our own lives.
Before she became a multi-hyphenated career woman, Jennifer Lopez was only making her living through her dancer’s salary. She was a Fly Girl on In Living Color, which gave her some spotlight. Just not enough light for what she was destined to be. However, JLo didn’t stop her career there. She was continuously working on her acting career as well.
She had been appearing on movies since 1986, but didn’t get her big break until 1997 on the oh so beloved movie Selena. In fact, she broke a pay rate barrier during that time, as she became the highest-paid Latina actress securing a check of one million dollars for her role on Selena. From then on, she continued to build her empire. JLo doesn’t believe in becoming complacent with your success. So, you have to keep pushing, even if you feel like you’ve made it.
JLo has made at least 36 movies, created her own fashion line, which includes clothing, makeup, and fragrances — a business move that brings her in millions of dollars in revenue each year. Just when you thought she was done venturing out from what she’s shown us, she decided to become an executive producer and then she became even more official at Las Vegas with her own residency. JLo is not just an entertainer, she’s also a businesswoman and a damn good one at that. As you can tell, Jenny from the Block is definitely not afraid to Get on the Floor and neither should you. So, make those Dinero moves!
Jennifer Lopez came from humble beginnings. Her parents worked multiple jobs to be able to send her and her sister, Lynda Lopez, to Catholic school. Having seen that growing up, she understood what the value of the dollar was for regular folk. Therefore, she’s always made it a point to help out those in need whenever she can. An example of her altruistic behavior is when she helped out Puerto Rico, the island from which where her roots originated.
The people of Puerto Rico had been hit by the catastrophic hurricane named Maria and had left the island without electricity. Puerto Ricans were in much need of help and she delivered. Instead of being like Donald Trump and tossing paper towels at them, using the proceeds from her residency in Las Vegas, she donated one million dollars to Puerto Rico’s charities and nongovernmental organizations. JLo ultimately organized Somos Live! Benefit Concert with Marc Anthony. They were able to bring together many other artists to raise funds for the hurricane victims of 2017. JLo is selfless with her actions. She thinks of others without thinking twice about it. Of course, she can influence more people because of her platform, but a genuine heart is not one money can buy.
She also co-founded a global nonprofit organization with her sister, the Lopez Family Foundation. This nonprofit provides better healthcare options for children and women in need. She decided to get on board with this organization because she understood that she has privileges that give her access to more options than others. She came to understand this when her daughter had a bump on the back of her head and she took her to the hospital. She was able to get her daughter the care she needed immediately, but it wasn’t lost on her that this was due to who she was. She wanted to help balance out this inequality by giving families in need medical options. The Lopez Family Foundation was able to open a telemedicine center in Puerto Rico and seven new centers in Panama. LFF has been recognized by the United Nations Foundation for her global advocacy.
JLo has some wild routines, but it works for her. She believes part of being successful is taking care of yourself. Really, without taking care of yourself first, you won’t be able to help those around properly, so she’s definitely on to something. In the end, your body is a system that needs to be tweaked and maintained just like you would your car. Her disciplined lifestyle begins with loads of water. She believes this is the best thirst-quencher. Staying hydrated allows you to have a more productive mind. She also swears by clean eating. That means a lot of lean proteins, such as turkey and chicken, and leafy vegetables. She’ll take in some protein if she’s hungry after her meals, but for the most part she’ll snack on fruits or vegetables. Maybe she indulges in mofongo every now and then, but that’s because she regulates herself to workout everyday. She doesn’t ever skip a workout, no matter how tired she may feel.
Now, it is important to note that JLo enjoys going the extra mile to look the way she feels good for herself. Just because you can’t follow a strict regimen that imitates JLo or anyone else, doesn’t mean you aren’t disciplined. This could just mean that your lifestyle needs are different than others, which is totally fine.
The most notable thing in JLo’s art is her confidence. She is not afraid of acknowledging her talent. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but a lot of the times women downplay their accomplishments. This is typically done if you’re trying to be “polite” or not seem entitled and conceited. But that’s far from the case with JLo. She believes that if you’re good at it, you should flaunt it. Believe it or not, JLo dealt with a lot of self-doubt in the beginning. She didn’t even feel good enough during some points in her life. How crazy is that? However, she realizes that we are now living in different times.
Women are now using their voice and taking back the space that so rightfully belongs to us. She’s had interviews where her confidence oozes. You can feel this in one of her previous interviews where the New York Times asked her what she wanted and she answered with: “I want what I deserve.” That is the definition of confidence. The confidence fit for a queen. She knows she’s good at what she does and she’s going to continue going at it until she decides she’s had enough. That is the type of confidence we should all strive for.
It’s incredible how much influence JLo has had on our community all these years. I can still remember listening to the album This is Me … Then on repeat in middle school. You would’ve thought that by now her stardom would’ve dwindled, but that’s far from it. She’s still as much of a household name today as she was then. In some way, JLo has been paving the road for women and latinas everywhere and she’s been encouraging us to follow her lead all along. Maybe she’s been trying to cultivate the next latina sensation. Maybe she’s waiting for you to pick up on some of her principles. Whatever the case may be, JLo is an absolute queen.