Jennifer Lopez’s hustle has been paying off. Over the past year, the Bronx-bred multi-hyphenate earned praise and nominations for her show-stopping performance in Hustlers, nailed an explosive Super Bowl LIV halftime show alongside Shakira earlier this month and celebrated her 50th birthday party with a global tour.
On Saturday (Feb. 29), J.Lo returned to The Forum arena in Inglewood, where she had kicked off her It’s My Party Tour last June. Trading her signature sexy bodysuits for a three-piece yellow ensemble, Lopez sat down with Oprah Winfrey at the global media mogul’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour in Los Angeles.
At the eighth sold-out stop on Winfrey’s national trek, the full-day wellness event (presented by WW — Weight Watchers Reimagined) was loaded with mindfulness, meditation and movement, courtesy of Julianne Hough’s KINRGY movement experience and dance community, DAYBREAKER.
Emotional monologues from the master of ceremonies about manifesting visions, finding purpose, setting intentions and navigating difficult relationships — whether with food or her family — elicited hollers, laughs and “Amen”s from the 13,600 people in attendance. At one point, the 66-year-old icon took a spill on-stage due to “wrong shoes,” but played it off like a true professional. “It’s nice to be talking about balance and fall,” joked Winfrey, who went barefoot for a good portion of the morning before slipping into comfortable sneakers.
Lopez later joined Winfrey in the afternoon and reflected on the past 365 days. On the subject of turning 50, J.Lo felt that age ain’t nothing but a number. “[The number] doesn’t mean anything to me. I honestly feel the same way I did when I was 28 and put out my first record,” she said, referencing her 1999 album On The 6. “I think it’s a mindset of just continuing to realize that I am still growing. So as long as I’m still growing, there’s still somewhere to go, that there’s more to the journey, that just because I turned 50, it’s not over. We’re just like at halftime right now.”
A natural segue into her Super Bowl halftime show, Lopez gushed about her daughter, Emme Maribel Muñiz, leaning into her musical talents during the performance despite her not having any desire to put her children into show business. Lopez also hoped to send a positive message while tearing down the SB stage.
“I knew that I wanted to put forth a message. I knew I was representing not just myself, but women, Latinos, everybody and all humans. The message needed to be clear, and it was to be proud of who you are and don’t be afraid to get loud in the face of injustice,” said Lopez, who used her party-starting hit “Let’s Get Loud” as the finale.
Another gem included Lopez saying that she has worked to prioritize her happiness despite her upbringing. “Well you’re raised to think, if I take care of everybody else, I’m a good person. I put myself last. A lot of women in my family, that’s how we were raised, especially Latinos. Everybody comes before you … and you come to the realization that … I need to take care of myself so I can take care of everybody else better.”
After being married several times in her 20s, Lopez also opened up about being engaged at 50 to former baseball star Alex Rodriguez. “I think this is the key to life, that I had to love myself and had to be okay on my own before I could be in a healthy relationship,” said Lopez, who said she reexamined her life after her divorce to Marc Anthony. “I felt like I had failed miserably and that I wasn’t going to give my kids what they needed.”
Lopez then worked on herself by going to therapy, praying, meditating, reading books by Louise Hay and leaning on a support system of older friends, which led to emotional independence. “If I’m with somebody, I’m not with somebody, Jennifer’s happy. I’m happy.” She also said there was no set date for when she’ll walk down the aisle. With their strong partnership, she says there’s “no rush.”
One moment that Lopez admitted was a letdown was not landing the Oscar nomination after much hype over her role in Hustlers, where she starred as pole-dancing queen, Ramona Vega. “I was a little sad. There were so many articles, I got so many good notices — more than ever in my career — and there was a lot of ‘She’s going to get nominated for an Oscar, it’s going to happen. If she doesn’t [get it], you’re crazy.’ I’m reading all the articles going, ‘Oh my God, could this happen?’ And then it didn’t and I was like ‘Ouch.’” She added, “Most of my team has been with me for years, 20, 25 years — and I think they had a lot of hopes on that and they wanted it too, so I felt like I let everyone down a little bit.”
These days, the former Fly Girl is not just comfortable with being vulnerable in her work but also giving herself props. “I was a good actress — always — I can say that now to myself, but what I do now is so much different than what I did then,” she said.
She was able to shake herself out of her funk when she flipped her perspective. “You realize you want people’s validation, you want people to say you did a good job and I realized, ‘No, you don’t need that. You do this because you love it.,” said Lopez, who later added, “I don’t need this award to tell me I’m enough.”
When asked if she ever finds flaws when she looks in the mirror, Lopez said she can critique certain features but recognizes when she appreciates what she sees. “There are days where I’ll look in the mirror where I’m getting out the shower and looking at myself just in my glory and I’m like, ‘You sexy,’ and I feel myself every once in a while on a good day, like you’re doing good,” laughed Lopez, who said she goes to the gym three to four times a week when she’s not in training mode and spends no more than an hour a day working out. “You need the consistency more than you need to be there, killing yourself.”
As she looks to the rest of 2020 and her career, Lopez welcomes what lies ahead. “I know that, the next 10 years … I don’t know what’s gonna happen but it’s gonna be better than what has happened.”
Oprah’s full interview with J.Lo will air Wednesday (March 4) from 8pm ET as part of WW’s Wellness Wednesday Series on Oprah’s Facebook Channel, and the WW Now Facebook Channel, with highlights on Instagram, @ww.now.