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The J-Lo legend

Why the queen of curve is still right on top!

There are women out there so famous that we need only hear their first names – Adele, Angelina, Celine – to conjure up their faces but when you’re an instant icon with just three letters, you’re in another league. J-Lo – Jennifer Lynn Lopez – is the golden girl of the 21st Century and has brought one glorious revelation to us all; life is ‘bootyful’.

Yes, that famous derriere that sashayed onto the dance scene back in 1990 soon became part of a multi-faceted package: actress, singer, record producer, dancer, television personality, fashion designer and one of the world’s sexiest women.

Suddenly Latin American looks were hot and millions of women around the world began to model themselves – down to wearing her signature fragrances – on a real woman.

Here’s this nice Catholic girl of Puerto Rican descent who gives her parents instant grey hair by announcing that no, she wasn’t going to carry on her interest in law, and no, she wouldn’t be honing her formidable athletic and tennis skills to go up against the Williams sisters on the centre court. She wanted to dance, sing and act. In Hollywood. But just what was it that would single her out from the thousands of Hollywood hopefuls – all gorgeous and talented – to make her so famous and successful? It all comes down to true grit.


J-Lo’s made mistakes in her private life – she’s been married and divorced three times – but has kept a level head. “You’ve got to love yourself first,” she says “and until you value yourself enough and love yourself enough to know that, you can’t really have a healthy relationship.” She began by taking home $1 million for her first movie and now regularly earns in excess of $15 million for her films. That takes tough negotiating. If she’s not starring in films, she’s top of the charts. Flipping from Spanish to English to appeal to a broader audience, has amassed her record sales of over 55 million worldwide.

She burst onto the fashion scene at the 43rd Grammy Awards in 2000 in a Jungle green Versace dress, a floating, plunge-to-the-navel dress that was to be voted the fifth most iconic dress of all time. That takes daring and a smart sense of how ‘celebrity’ works. Confident, savvy and refreshingly sane amidst tabloid hysteria, she says this about keeping your head in the hype: “I only do what my gut tells me to. I think it’s smart to listen to other people’s advice, but at the end of the day, you’re the only one who can tell you what’s right for you.”

And that explains why at 42 (and famous, rich, accomplished and beautiful) she’s still one of ‘us’.

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