Jennifer Lopez says being Latina made her feel ‘special’ in the early days of her career.
In an exclusive interview with Morgan Radford for Today, the 53-year-old spoke about her experience trying to make it in show business and some of the obstacles she faced on the way to becoming a superstar.
The Grammy winner admitted that the definition of beauty when she was trying to breakout was very different than it is now as 30 years ago most women were ‘a size zero,’ she said.
Special: Jennifer Lopez, 53, says being Latina made her feel ‘special’ in the early days of her career revealing, ‘When I went into these worlds where we were not represented at all, I felt like a unicorn’
‘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,’ she explained.
She said confidence came from her parents and their pride the family’s heritage.
‘When I went into these worlds where we were not represented at all, I 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,’ she noted.
Obstacles: In an exclusive interview with Morgan Radford for TODAY, JLo spoke about her experience trying to make it in show business and some of the obstacles she faced on the way to becoming a superstar
Proud: The Una Noche Mas singer said her parents instilled pride in their Puerto Rican heritage in their family as she was growing up. ‘I’m Jennifer Lopez from the Bronx. And my parents are Puerto Rican, I’m Puerto Rican’
The Marry Me star admitted it took some time before realizing she could not only work for others, but work for herself as well.
‘Even in my own business, I was like, the artist who was making billions of dollars for other people, and not really even realizing it, just like happy to be in the room,’ the newlywed who recently tied the knot with actor and director Ben Affleck, 50, explained.
‘And then I started to realize, wait a minute. I can make my own perfume, I can do this in my own way, I should own a part of this business.’
Now, the Jenny From the Block singer is working to help other Latinas achieve their dreams. She and her Limitless Labs foundation have partnered with the non-profit Grameen America to invest $14 billion in Latina-owned businesses by 2030.
Helping others: Jennifer is teaming with Andrea Jung of the non-profit Grameen America to invest $14 billion in Latina-owned businesses by 2030
Changing lives: We’re changing lives,’ the Una Noche Mas artist declared of her new initiative. ‘We want to take the Latino entrepreneur, empower them, give them opportunity… that’s all anybody wants’
Early days: Seen here in 2002 with Ben Affleck; she had more curves than most actresses
‘We’re changing lives,’ the Una Noche Mas artist declared. ‘We want to take the Latino entrepreneur, empower them, give them opportunity where there wasn’t — you know, me growing up the way I did, we weren’t even in the conversation in that way.’
Latina entrepreneurs, along with their Latino counterparts, make up one of the fastest growing groups of small business owners in the US, according to a 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship report from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
The report found they are creating businesses six times faster than other racial or ethnic groups, but are 60 percent less likely than white entrepreneurs to get loans from national banks.
Same day: Jung, President & CEO Grameen America and Lopez attend Grameen America’s Raising Latina Voices to kick-off Hispanic Heritage Month
‘The opportunity to do something, that’s all anybody wants. Nobody wants a handout, but that opportunity can change your life.’
The multifaceted businesswoman and entertainer is currently lending her support to victims on Hurricane Fiona, which has wreaked damage across Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
JLo announced she has teamed up with Hispanic Federation in both island states to help victims who are without living without electricity and other vital services.
She urged her fans to do what they could as well by going to hispanicfederation.org.
Support for victims: The superstar announced she has teamed up with the Hispanic Federation to provide relief to the millions of victims in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic affected by Hurricane Fiona