Has Anyone Ever Asked If *J.Lo* Is Happy???

It feels like every Bennifer award show appearance, vacation, or public outing ends with tabloids declaring Ben is miserable. Does anyone care if Jen is happy?

Has Anyone Ever Asked If *J.Lo* Is Happy???

Another award show means another occasion where Jennifer Lopez gets to deny that she’s holding her husband Ben Affleck hostage. Or, in her words, “He is good! He is happy!” That’s how she put it on the Golden Globes red carpet Sunday when asked about the State of Bennifer. And, personally, I’m going to take her word for it—haven’t we all had plenty of moments where we’ve looked miserable, even if we’re truly having a grand old time???

Lopez’s insistence that Affleck is actually far happier than any of us will ever be and that we’d have to inject ourselves with a vat of ecstasy pills to experience a fraction of his joy, took place when Entertainment Tonight asked about some recent photos where Affleck appears a little glum. “Ben is doing alright—you don’t need to worry about Ben. Let me just tell you, he is good. He is happy, he is here, he is nominated,” she said. “He is like, ‘I’m chilling.’ I don’t understand what people are pressed for. They don’t pick up on my face.” Indeed: Does anyone care if Jen is happy?? Has anyone ever asked??

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Paris in 2022. Ben admittedly does not look thrilled. Photo:Getty Images

Lopez was laughing as she spoke and didn’t seem even vaguely bothered, which I genuinely respect. If tabloids and body language-slash-lip-reading experts were constantly telling the world that my husband was depressed and desperate to run off and leave me for Matt Damon, I can’t promise I’d be a good sport about it. After all, this happens a lot, so much so that I don’t even know which photos of the couple ET was referring to. Every Bennifer award show appearance, vacation, and/or public outing always seems to end with the tabloids insisting that Ben is miserable…because he’s with her. If he isn’t smiling ear-to-ear while they sit together at the Grammys or run errands together through LA traffic on a Wednesday afternoon, surely it means Lopez is driving him up the wall and he needs Damon to rescue him. This headline, for example, is from nearly a year ago: “Jennifer Lopez insists she had ‘best time’ with Ben Affleck after ‘miserable’ pics.”

In February, Affleck and J.Lo had the Daily Mail, every adjacent tabloid, and dozens of internet stan accounts in a frenzy over his disinterested and sad-looking expressions during the Grammys. Lip readers weighed in and suggested Lopez was telling her husband to “stop” and to “look more friendly, look motivated” at the show. Eventually, a seat-filler who sat near the couple had to set the record straight on TikTok and proclaim that the couple was actually “cute and shit” and seemed to love each other. The following month, Affleck, too, was forced to weigh in and deny that he was being held at gunpoint to sit with his wife at the awards show: He told The Hollywood Reporter he actually “had a good time” at his “wife’s work event.” Cool!!

In May, at the premiere of Lopez’s movie, The Mother, the two appeared to have a minor tiff of sorts, though we’ll never have the audio and they were probably just gesticulating and conversing. The video was promptly psycho-analyzed to death, sparking another round of insistence that Affleck is in hell—though at least one person went to bat for Bennifer with the apt observation that Affleck’s “facial expressions are just always so misleading lol.”

Look: I love some good pearls of wisdom from a lip reader. Isn’t the most fun part of celebrity news the fact that we’ll never really know anything about these people’s intimate lives and can only speculate and project?? It’s just weird to me that tabloids are so dedicated to the narrative that Affleck, specifically, is miserable in his marriage.

In any case, I’m reminded of the wise analysis of Jezebel’s Kady Ruth Ashcraft from May, after she watched the aforementioned video from J.Lo’s premiere and offered this takeaway: “It seems to me both of these people—who are, dare I say it, well into middle age!—are just tired and cranky and maybe want to stop having their relationship aggressively photographed quite so often? … Between the two of them, they have four teenage kids (and one preteen). I’d be tired and cranky too!”

Ben and Jen, also in 2022. Again: Ben isn’t exactly smiling from ear to ear. Photo:Getty Images

Ben, indeed, always looks miserable—some people just do! And sure, headlines like “Grumpy Ben Affleck begrudgingly takes Jennifer Lopez’s photo after tense convo in St. Barts” and “Glum Ben Affleck texts while kissing Jennifer Lopez on Christmas shopping trip with their moms” will always make me chortle. Plus, these are very rich, presumably very happy people who don’t need me or anyone to defend them (certainly not for free). But the obsession with painting Affleck as a victim, the same way many husbands (should they look a little annoyed or upset) are presumed to be victims of miserable marriages due to overbearing wives, honestly bums me out a bit.

If tabloids are married to the idea that someone has to be deeply unhappy in this marriage, why can’t it ever be Jen?? I repeat: Has anyone ever asked if Jen is happy?? At this point, I’m so tired of the “Ben Affleck is miserable” story that I’m ready to start the rumor that Lopez is the miserable one and on the brink of Gone Girl-ing him. So, stay tuned for the next time I see a photo of her looking a little “glum” or “grumpy.”

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