Covergirl: Jennifer Lopez
From the outside, J-Lo’s life seems impossibly glamorous and busy. Cosmo goes on the inside to find out how she makes it possible.
An all-access VIP pass to JLo’s impossibly glamorous and busy life.
Alarge crowd is packed into an airy Manhattan loft, waiting for Jennifer Lopez. Lopez, currently stuck in traffic, is due to preview her autumn clothing line for (US store) Kohl’s. Suddenly, the group surges forward. Jennifer! She’s wearing an inky, slinky black halter jumpsuit, black platform stilettos, and bright pink lipstick. She does a few quick TV interviews and then joins me to inspect the merch. When she talks about clothes, Lopez gets a dreamy look. One slightly nutty thing that she likes to do, she tells me, is take hours packing for a trip—endlessly putting together outfits for herself and her 5-year-old twins, Max and Emme. “I do it for Beau too,” she says. That would be Beau ‘Casper’ Smart, her buff 26-year-old choreographer boyfriend. “If we have a flight in the morning, I’m still packing into the middle of the night. I just like to play with clothes.”
As we chat, people are hovering. People are always hovering. Everyone wants their moment with one of the most powerful women in entertainment. She made an estimated $52 million in 2012 by having her hand in seemingly everything: television, film, music, fashion, and a 20-fragrance beauty empire with Coty. She’s also made headlines for less savoury projects this year, drawing fire for taking high-paying gigs in repressive countries, such as Turkmenistan, where she sang for the president’s birthday party in June. “I know that being seen as a role model means taking responsibility for all my actions,” she says. “I am human, and of course, sometimes I make mistakes. But I promise that when I fall, I get back up. When I am wrong, I will learn the lesson and move on to face other challenges.”
It seems Lopez was born motivated. At five, the middle daughter of computer technician David Lopez and teacher
Guadalupe Rodriguez was already taking singing and dancing lessons and performing skits in the living room of their home in The Bronx. You know the rest— her breakthrough 1997 film, Selena, the simultaneous number one movie ( The Wedding Planner) and album (J.Lo) in 2001, and the three weddings, and subsequent divorces.
Her career went a bit quiet when the babies were born, but in characteristic fashion, it came roaring back in 2011 after her stint as the ‘nice judge’ on American Idol. Now—with a much-anticipated return to Idol for its 13th season, her eighth studio album out next year, more product lines, and a stepped-up film career—her mojo is more potent right now than ever.
It pains her that other women are often so hesitant to tap into their own power. “We give away our power so much—even in love, with men,” she says. “And it’s always looked down on in the world for women to be powerful—they get labelled as difficult or bitchy.” Even Lopez, who radiates pure confidence, admits she only started feeling sure of herself later in life. “It was after I had the kids, to be honest,” she says. “The biggest insecurity I had was my singing,” she says. “Even though I had sold 70 million records, there was this feeling like, I’m not good at this. And while I was married to Marc, he helped me get over it. He kept telling me, ‘You’re the only one holding yourself back from reaching your full potential as a singer. You have to let go’.”
Nor did she feel, deep down, that she deserved success. “I was always so insecure,” she says. “Then I grew, little by little, and realised this is not a fluke. I’m not a mistake—I work my ass off. And I know what I’m doing.”
Her publicist moves in and whispers in her ear. I hear
“I WAS SO INSECURE. THEN I GREW, AND REALISED THIS IS NOT A FLUKE. I’M NOT A MISTAKE—I WORK MY ASS OFF!”
“meetings” and “conference” and “car waiting.” “Gotta go,” she says. A week later, Lopez calls me from her home in Los Angeles, winding down after a rare day off. She keeps meaning to go on a vacation, she says, but somehow, she never does. Luckily, she was able to combine business with pleasure during last year’s tour. Smart was supervising choreographer, so the two would grab time between shows—dinner in London, a club in Istanbul. “For me, it’s about having a great partner to walk this life with,” she says of Smart, whom she calls her best friend. “I have my own high standards for what I want in a partner and how I want to be treated. I bring a lot to the table. I’m not talking about the material things but what I have to offer as a person—love and loyalty and all the things that make a good relationship.”
And when she commits to a man, she gives herself completely. “It’s funny, early on with Beau, I remember telling him how I have a real button on being ignored,” she says. “And he was like, ‘Listen, if somebody ignores you, then forget them. They don’t deserve to have your attention’. But it’s funny. Sometimes when we don’t get it, we try to get it in a negative way, you know? And then it becomes a habit, and you’re like, Why am I doing this?” she says.
I could go on talking to her for a few more hours, but my reverie is broken when the kids rush into her room. Once again, she must leave. The twins need to be put to bed. But she has one more thing left to do: shimmy into sparkly black skintight trousers and an abs-baring bra top and jump in a limo for the Hollywood Bowl, where her collaborator Pitbull is doing a show. Sometime before 11p.m., she’ll burst onstage in a surprise appearance as fireworks explode around her and the crowd loses its collective mind. In other words, just a normal Tuesday.
Jennifer Lopez let’s us in on her life beyond the cameras.
Arriving for the Idol show with boyfriend, Beau ‘Casper’ Smart
Prepping to talk to advertisers about her TV network
Holding Emme after the unveiling of Lopez’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Practicing for the Billboard
Dressing for the American Idol season 12 finale in Los Angeles
Getting a kiss from Smart after the American Idol finale
Performing for 50,000 people at the London Chime for Change benefit, which raised money for women’s and girls’ issues
Arriving at Twickenham Stadium for the London concert