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Sure, the Super Bowl was last week, but what did we spend days discussing afterward? The half time show. Jennifer Lopez made sure of that, even if it might not have been quite the conversation she imagined.
Lopez teamed up with another Latina powerhouse, Shakira, to present a half time show that was a tour-de-force of women’s empowerment and a celebration of Latinx culture. The two belted out their greatest hits while leading armies of dancers across eye-popping sets. Their body-conscious costumes had every Gen Xer who spent the first half of the game indulging in wings and guacamole whispering, “Wait…she’s my age?” to themselves and swearing to get themselves to the gym in the morning.
But the real controversy was ignited when Lopez spun around a pole in a show of graceful athleticism. For many, pole dancing’s unsavory origins were just a bit too much for a show that would be viewed by millions, including impressionable children. The scolds were out in full force immediately, and tongues wagged for days after.
J Lo has neither the time nor the patience for the naysayers.
“I think that’s honestly silliness,” said Lopez. “Both of us are really respectful performers who are moms and have kids and are very conscious of what we do. [Shakira and I put on] a show that I believe was a celebration of women and our Latino culture that I think was really well reserved — and that small faction of people who want to be negative about it, I can’t even let in.”
It takes moxie to do your thang in a bodysuit in front of millions of people and not apologize for it, and Jennifer Lopez has it. Here’s how:
Moxie is a triple threat and more.
One of two daughters in a working-class Puerto Rican family, Lopez grew up dancing her way through her Bronx neighborhood and across New York City. She dreamed of being a performer and dropped out of college after just one semester to do regional theatre and tour with Broadway shows.
Her dancing chops were impressive, and she beat out 2,000 other dancers for a spot as a “Fly Girl” on the groundbreaking sketch comedy show “In Living Color.”
But her talent couldn’t be limited to a single art form. She turned down an opportunity to dance on Janet Jackson’s tour to pursue acting gigs, and landed a series of progressively significant roles on television and in movies.
Her big break came when she was cast in the title role in the 1997 biopic Selena. The role afforded her the opportunity to sing, dance and act, and her outstanding performance seemed to set her up perfectly for even meatier roles in the future.
So what did she do? She paused her acting career and took a year to record her debut album. It was a risky move that might have arguably slowed down her acting career, but which powered her career as an all-around performer to dizzying new heights.
In the two decades that have followed, J-Lo has added even more to her resume. She’s launched a clothing line and a successful line of perfumes. In addition to the brand plays, she’s launched into real estate.
Just succeeding in one of these arenas would have been impressive on its own, but Lopez had the audacity to reach further. That takes moxie.
Moxie isn’t afraid of controversy.
Remember that Versace dress? Now that I mention it, of course, you do.
Back in 2000, Lopez was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance Recording. She turned up for the awards show wearing a filmy, barely-there green jungle-print gown held in place solely by a brooch placed strategically below her navel and a whole lot of invisible tape.
The gown caused such a stir and everyone was so intent on seeing it that Google image search may have been invented because of it.
If that’s the case, then Lopez’s moxie ultimately benefited all of us.
Moxie knows its worth.
The one thing that Lopez hasn’t been lucky in is with love. She’s been married three times, all ending in divorce. She has also indulged in several high-profile romances to Sean Combs and Ben Affleck. She’s currently engaged to baseball legend Alex Rodriguez. Her romantic foibles have long been tabloid fodder.
Following her divorce from Marc Anthony, Lopez began to take stock. She had a stunning realization. Despite all her success and achievements, she’d failed to fully value herself.
She hadn’t fully appreciated her worth. She’d make millions upon millions for other people, and though her share of that also totaled up to millions, it was but a fraction of what she was giving up to others.
Without her name, her brand, what product was there to sell? None. She realized she holds the value. That realization imbued her with new confidence and has helped her launch into the next phase of her life with boldness.
“Understanding my own worth and value as a person made me understand it differently in my work, as well,” she said. It “has been a long journey for me. And so I’m very proud to stand in the shoes of, yes, I think I do deserve more. All artists do deserve more. We are a scarce asset. They can’t do anything without us. They have no product. So we have to understand that.”
Do you have the moxie to truly value yourself?
Jennifer Lopez’s Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Lopez