Don’t be fooled by her red carpet glam and Hollywood lifestyle – Jennifer Lopez is still true to her New York roots. “Everything about growing up in the Bronx influenced me and is still with me today,” the 48-year-old told InStyle magazine in their latest issue. “I still wear big hoops and a lot of jewelry, whether it’s with a couture gown or with Timberlands. Also, how I do my hair. I’m still a ponytail, bun-on-top-of-your-head girl, which is all very Puerto Rican Bronx." The El Anillo singer credits her home borough for her edge in the entertainment industry.
“I feel like my Bronx-girl, urban toughness is one of my biggest strengths,” she said. “It’s who I am.” Throughout her decades long career in music, film and dance – Jennifer has faced criticism about her body image, but it was her mother’s lessons that helped shape her confidence in spite of what people said. “My mom and my grandmother were the ones that drilled it into me, ‘This is who we are, and this is what’s beautiful,’" she said. “My dad loved my mom’s body – all the men in our family loved the women’s bodies. Being curvy or not being six feet tall was never a bad thing; it was actually something that we celebrated.”
She continued: “So later on when I brought that in the front of the world, I wasn’t really trying to send a message. I was just being myself.” Jennifer, who is mother to ten-year-old twins Max and Emme, noted that like her mother – she is inspiring her daughter’s view of the world. “The only thing I really want to teach her is to love and respect herself first and to make sure she commands respect from others,” the World of Dance judge shared.
“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 things that she loves.” Jennifer is proud to see that her wisdom is already rubbing off on her and Marc Anthony’s little girl: “She’s an artistic soul. 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!’ and I said ‘Yes, Emme! Teach them young!’ That’s what I want to teach her, that’s what I want her to know.”