Jennifer Lopez is still proudly boasting about her moniker “Jenny from the Block.”
As the InStyle magazine cover girl for April, the “American Idol” judge defended her title, insisting that’s who she really is.
“It’s funny when people say ‘Jenny from the Block isn’t real’ or ‘You’ve already done that.’ I keep doing it because that’s who I am. I love where I grew up and it’s such a part of who I am,” the singer said of her upbringing in the Bronx.
Ain’t it funny, though?
Posing for photographer Michelangelo Di Battista in a Chanel swimsuit and skirt, Lopez also opened up “about men, marriage and her modern family,” according to the cover line.
Indeed, the “In Living Color” alum’s career has transformed her from the borough girl she sings about in her 2002 hit song to an A-list celebrity setting trends and piquing interest with her personal life — as well as her acute awareness of aging in her industry.
“The turning point was a couple years ago, when the September issue of women’s magazines had cover girls that were all over 40 — Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, me,” the 44-year-old said. “It was hard not to be happy. That says something about our society. People who used to believe their life — or at least their life as a performer — was over at 28 or some ungodly age! God, when I think of myself back then, I had no idea who I was. I think I’m barely getting that under control now.”
Shall we remind you, Jenny from the Block?
The fashionista from Puerto Rican roots has come a long way since her breakout 1997 portrayal of Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez in “Selena,” and her love life has arguably made more headlines than her sometimes-questionable choices in film roles. She’s dated Diddy (remember that infamous plunging Versace dress), Ben Affleck (think the original “Bennifer” and the “Jenny from the Block” video) and recently joked that if she were forced to save one of them from a sinking raft, she’d let them both “drown.”
Lopez married singer Marc Anthony in 2004, and they had twins Max and Emme together, but the pair announced their split in 2011, marking her third failed marriage. Her latest boyfriend, Casper Smart, is one of her backup dancers and 18 years her junior.
“Look, I don’t love being alone. I don’t. I can’t beat myself up for that. What I have to do is figure out why I don’t like it. Why am I not OK being alone? And can I ever be OK facing that?” Lopez said.
“In the past, love for me has always meant forever, and sure, you still nurse some of those fantasies, but I don’t try to force it anymore. I hung on to my fairy-tale ideals for a long time. But where I am now, what I’ve been through, there are no rules.”
Aside from “Idol,” fashion design, the release of her 21st fragrance Glowing Goddess and shooting the mothers-on-a-mission drama “Lila & Eve” with Viola Davis, Lopez is also working on her 10th studio album.
“This album is tough. I used to be all, ‘I love you, hearts and flowers,’ but now it’s ‘I love you, I’m not going to let you take advantage of me,” she said. “There’s strength but also humor. It’s about being smarter about love — and not taking yourself so seriously.”
The April issue of InStyle hits newsstands Friday. Read more from the interview here.
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