Jennifer Lopez Says She Was 'Told to Lose a Few Pounds' at Start of Career
By Antoinette Bueno
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Time
Jennifer Lopez is getting candid about her body.
In a Q&A with InStyle.com, the 48-year-old superstar talks about her famous curves, and how her now celebrated physique was criticized earlier in her career. While Lopez says she was proud of her body growing up, Hollywood definitely wasn't as accepting.
"I got a lot of flak for it from people in the industry," she says. "They’d say, 'You should lose a few pounds,' or 'You should do this or do that.' It finally got to the point that I was like, 'This is who I am. I’m shaped like this.' Everybody I grew up with looked like that, and they were all beautiful to me. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I still don’t!"
These days, Lopez says even famous people have thanked her for showing that more than one body type is beautiful. She also isn't ashamed to admit she works hard for her figure, working out daily in the morning.
"So many people have come up to me over the years -- famous people, people I meet on the street, fans, everybody -- and they say that very thing: 'Thank you so much. I have the same type of body. I used to think I was fat, but now I feel beautiful,'" she shares. "My generation was very much focused on size 0 models. It was just so unattainable for most normal people, including me. My mom and my grandmother were the ones who drilled into me, 'This is how we are, and this is what’s beautiful.'"
"My dad loved my mom’s body -- all the men in our family loved the women’s bodies," she adds. "Being curvy or not being six-feet tall was never a bad thing; it was actually something that was celebrated. And so, later on, when I brought that in front of the world, I wasn’t really trying to send a message. I was just being myself."
"The one thing I really want to teach her is to love and respect herself first and to make sure she commands respect from others," she notes. "Social media -- it’s fun and social, but at the end of the day you’re living in real time, where you have a core group of friends and family. I try to get her to focus on the things that matter: being a good person, friend, and daughter, being happy with herself, and doing the things she loves. She’s an artistic soul.
And it definitely looks like Lopez's parenting goal is working.
"The other day at my concert, there’s this part in my show where I say, 'Ladies, what do we need from the world?' And she was in the front row yelling, 'Respect!'" Lopez recalls. "And I said, 'Yes, Emme! Teach them young!' That’s what I want to teach her; that’s what I want her to know."
This isn't the first time Lopez has opened up about her famous body. When she appeared on The View in 2016, the superstar admitted her weight "fluctuates," and that she goes "up and down about seven to eight pounds all the time."
"When I'm doing the show, I go down, I get slim, and then when I stop, I'm eating -- and I get chunky," she said, referring to her Las Vegas residency. "Not chunky, but you feel it for a dancer."
"I never appreciated my body or my looks when I was in my 20s," she told W magazine. "Now I'm like, 'Look at me! Look at you!' Not in a conceited or arrogant way -- I just appreciate myself in a way I didn’t when I was that age. And it's not about perfection. I like the scars that I have."