THE ULTIMATE SHOWGIRL

As she turns 50, Jennifer Lopez shares some of her secrets to ageing gracefully and living a happy life — hoop earrings, included

Watching her night by night on stage in Las Vegas, one could never tell that Jennifer Lopez is turning 50 this this year — which she will be celebrating with a birthday tour, “It’s My Party”, on 24 July.

The superstar usually just shrugs and shoves the compliment about how she is ageing gracefully: “Listen, at some point, I’m going to age, and they’ll say, ‘She looks old!’ But, right now, I’m holding it together,” she laughs.

And holding it together she does, and gracefully so. Between her career as a producer/actor, a judge on a national television talent show, a jewellery/clothes/shoe designer, a doting mother to her twins, and a girlfriend to a famous athlete, her Las Vegas residency worth 100 million dollars was an ‘adrenaline boost’ every night.

Jennifer Lopez in Versace
Jennifer Lopez wearing a Versace ensemble during a music video shoot
Image courtesy of Versace

I heard somewhere that only girls with very low confidence wear big hoops. 

Oh, that’s so untrue. I’m a Bronx girl who loves her hoop earrings. Women should never go without earrings. Passing on them is an opportunity missed. And the ring… the bigger the diamond, the better.

 So where does this confidence come from?

I grew up in the Bronx. I do think it gives you a certain tenacity, a certain drive, when you grow up with nothing and you don’t grow up with the privileges of going to a great school, or your parents don’t have money to send you to those things. It gives you a different upbringing. And like I said, it makes you a little scrappier and a little savvier in different ways — a street smart. And in the streets, you have to find a way in, even if slipping in the back door. But you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If somebody said you could go back now and go to Harvard instead of doing what you did, I would say no way, no way.

What shaped your fashion style?

I had this very urban kind of upbringing with breakdancing in the ’80s, wearing Adidas, Doc Martens, man pants, and hoops. That street Bronx style is still very much part of me. I also grew up on musicals and looking at all these glamorous movie stars, the likes of Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, or even Jackie O. That was also very much part of what I aspired to be style-wise, the ’50s and ’60s glamour. As I started developing my style, I realised that those were the things that I liked. It was either very street or very glamorous — glamorous and kind of sensual. That became who I was. It is what I still often wear to this day: the big hoops, the gold jewellery. I always like to mix glam with a bit of the hood.

Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad at Oscars after party 2019
Jennifer Lopez, in a Zuhair Murad Spring 2019 Couture gown, with fiancé Alex Rodriguez (wearing a Vacheron Constantin watch) at the Vanity Fair Oscar after party
Image courtesy of Vacheron Constantin

 You have a new hit song called Dinero, in which you sing the lyrics with much conviction. In your music video, you aptly accessorized with a $4.5 million worth of Tiffany & Co. jewellery — from a half-million dollar platinum and diamond bracelet to a $450,000 diamond necklace. Why Tiffany?

Working with Tiffany & Co. on this project was the perfect fit, considering we were looking for jewellery that could complement an array of high fashion looks — from streetwear to high-end couture styling.

You recently teamed up with Giuseppe Zanotti for a two-season capsule collection of shoes and jewellery. How was the experience like?

The focus for my brand is similar to my approach to life: Be creative, take risks, work hard, and know what the consumer needs. I don’t like to feel stagnant. I look at my brand the same way. Innovation and creating art are key, and then providing customers with what they want and what they didn’t realize they needed. In the near future, I want to continue to grow my brands in the fashion space, particularly in Europe and the Middle East.

On your day-to-day life, how do you decide what to wear?

I pretty much wear whatever I want, and I have lots of different moods. Sometimes, I feel like dressing like a boy with Timberlands and baggy jeans and an oversized sweatshirt; and sometimes, I feel like Audrey Hepburn. I have many, many style influences, and I love fashion from all the eras. I have always loved playing with fashion, and I think because I’m an actress, I like different characters and I fancy myself to have many different sides — from sexy to demure to romantic to manly at times. I love it all, I love chic clothing and that’s my approach. I wake up and I dress however I feel that day, whoever I want to be. Sometimes I want to be simply Jenny from the block.

Jennifer Lopez fashion at Oscars 2019
Jennifer Lopez with fiance Alex Rodriguez at the Oscars 2019

 How do you take care of yourself?

I have some skincare secrets that I might be sharing in the next year. But it’s all about looking after yourself. I have kids, and all of that takes up a lot of time. I try to get a good sleep, I try to take care of my skin. I am not a smoker or a drinker or anything like that. And I just try to relax and be the best version of me that I can be. The moment I realize that saying no is more of a power than saying yes, or having the opportunity to say yes, has been very empowering for me. And that’s where I have learned to carve out time for what I need to feel good. Then I can be good for others.

What’s the best thing you would tell young girls who want to be the next JLo?

I think the biggest message that I could ever put out there is to love yourself. When we love ourselves, we make good choices. I believe that through my music and through the book that I wrote, all the things that I do, I always try to get that message out there, because we are not taught that when we were little. We are taught to love others and take care of others and not of ourselves, and that’s where everything starts. That’s where all good thing starts, within each one of us. I had to learn that the hard way. In the past five years, that’s become evident to me. I feel like it took me a long time, but I think it happens at a certain point in life when you start becoming more aware of what is important and what you are doing wrong. You actually have patterns, and that’s the thing that is actually wrong with you and not everybody else. That it’s actually you. And when you are humble enough and have been humbled enough to realise that, you start wanting to make changes.