J.Lo Gets Candid About How Growing Up in the Bronx Shaped Her Stellar Career

Jennifer Lopez is still Jenny from the block.

While accepting the award for Pop Culture Innovator at WSJ. Magazine‘s Innovator Awards, Lopez opened up about her Bronx, New York, upbringing and how it paved the way for her beyond-successful career.

“Growing up in the Bronx really did shape me because I grew up with not a lot,” Lopez said, per E! News. “Everything about me, my kind of grit, I’ve never thought about it or described it this way before, but it is the heartbeat inside of me that is the Bronx and my upbringing that continues to drive me.”

During her virtual speech, Lopez also reflected on her decades-long career and how she’s broken barriers as a Latinx performer who has successfully conquered the film, music, fashion, and beauty industries.

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“From very young, I never wanted to be put in a box. I wanted to be smart, and athletic, and sweet, and tough and a tomboy but also very glam. That’s why I became an actress and a performer because you get to be a lot of different things,” recalled Lopez. “When I first came on the scene, I wasn’t trying to be the size zero model or say I wasn’t Latin and change my name. I was Jennifer Lopez. I had a big butt. I embraced that. But I didn’t want to just be the Latin actress or the one who played those types of roles. I wanted to do different roles.”

Even though Lopez seemingly has it all―critically acclaimed film work, millions of albums sold, her hand in a myriad of lucrative business opportunities—the superstar assured everyone listening that she’s nowhere near ready to slow down.

“I love movies and the pretend and the make-believe and the fantasy of what the world could be,” said the performer. “And until the world is 100 percent perfect and completely fixed, I won’t ever be done.”

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