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Jennifer Lopez Recalls Entering Hollywood As A Latina Star, And Not Seeing Anyone That Looked Like Her

Jennifer Lopez in Marry Me.
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Diversity is something that Hollywood has clearly been making efforts to achieve in recent years, following decades where such things were not seen as important. Jennifer Lopez has been one of the few Latina stars of this generation, and now she’s talking about what it was like, seemingly being the only person who looked like her.

In a recent interview with Today (via People) The new Mrs. Ben Affleck says that while she felt like the only person in the room who was Latina, that wasn’t entirely a bad thing. She says she felt like a “unicorn” when there was nobody else in the room that looked like her. Lopez explains…

And so when I went into these worlds, like Hollywood, where we were not represented at all, I almost felt like a unicorn. 'I'm Latina. I'm Jennifer Lopez from the Bronx. And my parents are Puerto Rican, I'm Puerto Rican.' And I think it made me feel special.

Perhaps Lopez’s unique perspective is part of what helped her succeed in an environment like the one she was in. She embraced who she was, and believed that it was what made her unique, for the simple fact that the rest of Hollywood was not diverse enough to have more people like her inside it.

That’s begun to slowly change in recent years. Hollywood has begun to understand the value of diversity and putting diverse faces on the screen, if for no other reason than those stars can draw a diverse audience that boosts the bottom line. Jennifer Lopez likely inspired a generation of women who did look like her to follow in her footsteps. 

But there were other ways in which Jennifer Lopez also did not fit in. Beyond her ethnicity, Lopez says her body also didn’t look like other women in Hollywood. While Lopez’s body would, in the end, be part of what her a recognizable icon, she says that the standard of beauty when she started was very different. But again, she still saw herself as beautiful and embraced her own body. Lopez continues…

Even the whole body thing was such a thing. It was like, everybody was like size zero models, tall, blonde — beautiful, a certain type of beauty — but there was other types of beauty that I grew up with.

At 53-years-old, Jennifer Lopez may be about to become a unicorn yet again. Hollywood glorifies youth and older actors, especially women, don’t always get roles in the same frequency that they once did. Although it's possible, following her recent marriage to Ben Affleck, Lopez simply won't be working as much, as she seems quite happy at focusing on her personal life

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.