JLo Claims Fifth Icon Award, Reflects on Diversifying Her Career and Empowering Women in Hollywood
If there’s one word we can always defer to when defining Jennifer Lopez, it’s iconic. Whether you love to love her or love to throw chisme about her, one thing JLo has proved throughout her career is that she’s here to stay — and slay.
This year, she was honored with Elle magazine’s Women in Hollywood Icon Award. Joining honorees like America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, Fantasia Barrino Taylor, Greta Lee, Danielle Brooks, Lily Gladstone, Jodie Foster, and Taraji P. Henson, Lopez had a few words regarding her fifth Icon Award.
“I don’t have an Oscar, and I don’t have a Golden Globe, and I don’t have a Grammy or a SAG Award or a BAFTA or a Critics Choice or a Hollywood Film Award,” Lopez said. “I do have a Palm Springs International Film Festival Spotlight Award — but this is my fifth Icon Award.”
Adding, “Of all the things I thought I would grow up to be when I was a little girl, the last thing on my list was Icon.”
Throughout her speech, Jenny From the Block referenced the hurdles she’s endured to get to where she is now, including rejection, pushback, and criticism from her peers. However, here she is now.
Jennifer Lopez claimed entertainment awards have not recognized her work, but she’s still highly successful
In 2020, the world held its breath, awaiting announcements that JLo had won a major entertainment award. With her role as Ramona in “Hustlers,” the Bronx star killed it on screen. Still, she left award season with nothing but a Golden Globe nomination.
Still, Lopez has been recognized as an icon five times—something she never expected for herself.
“I always look up the word ‘icon’ every time this happens. The dictionary says, ‘It’s a representative symbol, or someone or something that is worthy of veneration. So it’s about being venerated for things that you’ve accomplished. Which, obviously, I am very honored and flattered, and humbled by in this company,” she said.
Continuing, “This award is also about being a representative symbol. In this case, what is it like to be a woman in Hollywood. But when I think about that, and about the things that I spent my life doing and working at, it’s been so many different things.”
While her multi-faceted approach bothered some, JLo found strength and success in diversifying her artistic career
Adding to her speech, JLo posed an important question regarding the diversification of her career, particularly how she’s a dancer, actress, singer, and entrepreneur.
“I started off as a dancer, and then started making movies, and then records, and then creating my own brand somehow,” she stared. “And companies, and each step of the way and each transition, there seemed to be tremendous opposition. Both literal, physical, and emotional—to the idea that you could do many different things and be taken seriously. The idea was that you were not as real a musician if you were also an actress. Or you’re not a serious actor if you’re a dancer. Or a legitimate business person or entrepreneur if you are an artist.”
Of course, for Lopez, her Latinidad was a differentiator Hollywood had not faced yet.
She added, “But it went beyond that, too: You couldn’t be good or credible at anything if you were sexy, and you couldn’t be sexy if you were a mom, and you couldn’t be intelligent if you were beautiful, and so on and so on. And you certainly couldn’t be any of those things if you were a lil Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx.”
Throughout her speech, Lopez alludes to the power of doing different things, sticking to your guns, and being bold.
The Puerto Rican artist closed her speech with words of empowerment for all women
Of course, Lopez wasn’t going to leave the awards without first giving it a touch of her magic. As she closed her speech, she touched on why women are kept out of “rooms of power. Then, she shared kind words for all women and our superpowers.
“Things like changing our minds, like being emotional, being mercurial, and having our attention in several different places at once is actually our superpower and the essence of who we are,” she said. “That is what it is to actually be a woman.”
And if anyone could say this, it was the “Selena” lead star.
“As I stand here accepting this award in awe that this is my life. I echo the words from that lovely video we just saw: ‘Why can’t we do all the things?!’ I will always believe that we can, that all of you can, that I can.”