Sympathy For The J-Lo


Last week, Brian Moylan of Gawker wrote a fairly scathing piece regarding Ms. Jennifer Lopez and her dwindling fame, essentially telling her to STFU and GTFO. But I think we need to give J-Lo a break. And here’s why:

Ok, listen. Anyone who lived through the past decade is probably still suffering from J-Lo fatigue. For a while there, circa 2002-2005 or so, she was everywhere, with her clothing line, and her Glow perfume, and her butt-kissing Ben Affleck video, and her albums, and her films, and her TV guest appearances, and so on and so forth. When you’re ubiquitous enough for Matt Stone and Trey Parker to take a shot at you, you might be a tad over-exposed. And she certainly was! But it seems as though Ben Afflect, one half of the “Bennifer” phenomenon, is constantly portrayed as a victim worthy of redemption, while Lopez (who didn’t kiss her own ass during that video, mind you) is portrayed as a career ruiner egomanic. It takes two people to make a dumb tabloid phenomenon couple, does it not?

Yes, Lopez has made some irritating moves over the past few years: she was ridiculously overexposed, she tried to make us like “Louboutins,” and yes, she sexyfaced all over Hollywood. But the woman built a damn empire! What is she supposed to do? Just sit back and say, “Fuck it, I guess I’ll let everything I worked my famous ass off for disappear?” In the words of Laura Winslow from Family Matters: “No, I don’t think so.”

I have certainly taken my shots at Lopez, mostly at her music career, which peaked last decade and probably doesn’t need to be revived, if “Louboutins” is any indication of the direction she wants to go in, but it irritates me a bit that Lopez is such a target while fellow actresses coasting on past successes and turning in duds (Aniston, Kidman, Zellweger, even Witherspoon if we’re going to be honest y’all) are allowed to carry on and put out crap films without being taken down in such a harsh manner. Is Lopez the actress that Witherspoon is? Depends on who you ask, I guess. But we’ve seen her do excellent work before, and I’m not sure why everyone else gets a shot to redeem themselves, despite heinous behavior (see: every actor ever) while Lopez is targeted as the worst thing to ever happen to Hollywood, ever.

In any case, Lopez is hosting, and performing as the musical guest on tonight’s SNL. Real talk: I fully expect it to be terrible. But at the same time, I’m kind of rooting for J-Lo. I don’t even know why, to be honest with you. Maybe I’m just a bit tired of 40-something actresses being brushed aside, despite their potential and track record of hard work, because of a few craptacular business decisions. Or perhaps it’s because Lopez’s career trajectory mimics that of many women who are raised up and then destroyed by the paparazzi. Or perhaps it’s because I think beyond all of the tabloid hullabaloo, she actually does have the potential to make a great film. Or maybe I just liked Selena way, way too much.

Whatever, J-Lo. I won’t put on your Louboutins, but you’re welcome to stick around and give your career another go. Who else would provide us with intentionally-scandalous red carpet wear? Ridiculous concert riders? Sexyface galore?! Like her or hate her, she’s a diva. And divas never really go away. Even if their record sales do.

And seriously? This was your jam in ’99. Stop lying.

Related: Hey, Jennifer Lopez, Don’t Let The Door Hit You In The Famous Ass On Your Way Out [Gawker]

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