Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s failed marriage is the talk of the tabloids. The once-golden couple reunited 20 years after defining the Hollywood idyll, but the magic seems to have been short-lived.

Although we all know a little about heartbreak and bad decisions, the media and show business seem to revel in the stars’ bitter pill—especially Jennifer Lopez’s.

Loading the player...

Sexist gossip rears its fangs again

After months of second-hand reports of trouble in the Lopez-Affleck marriage, the couple has finally put their mansion up for sale. Headline after headline, the focus seems to castigate Jennifer Lopez, labeling her “very difficult” and arguing that she “has a hard time feeling satisfied.”

Despite being a multi-millionaire star who has worked her ass off for decades, the media didn’t hesitate to side with Affleck, transforming the Latina star into the villain of the story.

Nothing new under the sun

When Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck became an item back in 2003, their personal lives became public affairs. The romance was widely publicized, and the pair even got the nickname “Bennifer.”

The chimerical love was such that Lopez’s third studio album became a love letter to Affleck. But it was precisely the public scrutiny that doomed the brief love story.

“When Jen and I broke up before, the catalyst for that was the scrutiny around our private life,” Affleck admitted decades later in their documentary “The Greatest Love Story Never Told.”

“Our relationship crumbled under the weight of the pressure,” Lopez told Variety of the split decades later. “We lost a sense of ourselves. And we needed to separate because we didn’t know how to survive it. I had to figure myself out, and he had to figure himself out.”

But the end of the second episode of JLo and Affleck’s love story has been nothing short of unfair

Jennifer Lopez’s love life has been a favorite topic of the tabloids. Few times has the artist been recognized for her talent as a businesswoman compared to the times that her engagement ring collection has been mentioned.

When her marriage to former baseball star Alex Rodriguez ended in 2021, Ben Affleck sought her out to continue the story they had left 20 years earlier.

“Ben has always had an affinity for Jennifer and was the one who initially started pursuing her and making an effort to reconnect, romantically speaking,” an ET source said back in 2021.

Sexism vs. Jennifer Lopez

By then, Lopez was 52 and had blockbuster hits, platinum-selling albums, sold-out tours, multi-million business ventures, and a Las Vegas residency. But again, as became evident two years later, the tabloids only cared about her potential romantic failure.

After putting their relationship in front of the cameras again, and despite Jennifer Lopez screaming her love from the rooftops, memes of a weary, relationship-stunned Affleck began to go viral.

It didn’t help that Lopez made herself vulnerable in her film “This Is Me… Now” and her documentary. The criticisms were the same: “She can’t sing” and “She can’t keep a marriage together.” Meanwhile, mediocre male artists keep being praised for their autotuned hits and how many women they can date in a single year.

In fact, as Zayda Rivera aptly described in her column for Popsugar, “Today’s headlines paint a one-sided picture of Affleck navigating a tumultuous marriage to an overly ambitious, workaholic diva who can’t seem to get love right.”

The couple had to navigate its ‘ups and downs,’ but JLo was still the one to blame

Rumors always pointed to Affleck prioritizing his family, but no one commented on what Jennifer Lopez might be going through.

“Ben feels like Jen has a hard time feeling satisfied, and that’s one of the issues they’re facing,” one source shared. “Ben is one of the only people who feels comfortable enough to be honest and real with Jen. It’s part of why Jen loves him, but also why she’s upset with him.”

It was all about him. Meanwhile, Jennifer Lopez had to survive reporters cornering her on her promotional tour for the movie “Atlas.” The pressure was so much that the singer had to cancel her “This Is Me… Now The Tour.”

“Jennifer is taking time off to be with her children, family, and close friends,” representatives from Live Nation said in a statement.

Lopez also apologized in a message to her fans via her OntheJLO newsletter.  

“I am completely heartsick and devastated about letting you down,” she wrote. “Please know that I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t feel that it was absolutely necessary. I promise I will make it up to you, and we will all be together again. I love you all so much. Until next time…”

In the end, the greatest story ever told is that of an empowered and successful woman

Now, with the news of the couple splitting up and selling their Beverly Hills mansion, fans and tabloids continue to lose sight of the real story. That of a woman who managed to make a career against the tide.

As Rivera continues, “When gossip about her relationships prevails, it obscures Lopez’s triumphant success story.”

“Jennifer Lopez was able to obtain the American dream ten-fold,” she continues. “Still, instead of being continuously celebrated for this, all the attention is focused on things going awry in her love life.”

This is the epitome of patriarchal machismo in Hollywood and, even more so, in Latino culture. It is the same discourse, on a different scale, of what happens when any other Latina gets divorced. The blame is always on her for putting her career first, not caring for her husband, or simply being too “difficult.” It’s never because she’s a powerful woman with high standards who outgrows any and all men.