Jennifer Lopez covers Vogue Magazine April 2012 in a profile carried out the day she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show with estranged husband Marc Anthony. It’s the profile in which Lopez addresses her divorce and then coyly addresses slumming with boyfriend Casper Smart, 24, of whom manager Benny Medina does not approve and says so when asked by the magazine.
To her credit, although she still appears needy and damaged, Lopez appears to have developed a modicum of self-awareness and self-esteem even after jumping right into a rebound days/ weeks after her divorce filing. It’s good that it’s addressed directly since, honestly, people were starting to wonder.
On her “estrangement,” her word, from manager Benny Medina, following an introduction by Diddy in the mid-90s: “Puffy was like, ‘You need Benny Medina!’ So I brought him up to my hotel room and played him the first song I ever wrote, and he was like, ‘OK, I’ll manage you.’” Other than a two-year-long “estrangement,” her word, that ended when Lopez was seven-months pregnant, the two have been thick as thieves ever since. Medina, who is gay, knows Lopez as well as anyone. When I ask Lopez if she thinks of him as her “gay husband,” she laughs and says, “Yeah! I kinda do!” But then she gets more serious. “I just think of him as a real, creative soul mate. He’s been the most consistent man in my life besides my dad. We love each other. People always ask about all the men I dated, and I am like, ‘You know the Benny and Jennifer story? That’s the real story here.’”
On her diva reputation: ”Sometimes I think it’s just because I have a nice car and I’m not afraid to wear a big fur… I had such a reputation [a few years ago]. And it was sad because I felt like it so didn’t represent who I really was.”
On her insecurities: “I think of myself… and how insecure I was about my own talent. I just never really gave myself any credit. And because of that, nobody else did either. You mirror what the world mirrors to you. [But Marc Anthony] always told me what a beautiful voice I have. He was like, ‘It’s in there; you just gotta let it out. It’s a confidence thing with you.’ Then all of a sudden one day I was like, I’m good at this!’ Oh, man! People are not giving me jobs because they feel sorry for me! I am an actress. I am a singer. I am a performer. That’s what I do! Once I started giving myself a little credit, the whole world opened up.”
On parenting her twins: “[Children] do something to you where you want to do everything right for them. And obviously no parent does everything right. It’s this weird thing that happens where you are striving to be as good as you can be so that they turn out well. And that requires that you be a really great, evolved, aware person in every moment. Which is pretty awesome. But it’s also putting tremendous pressure on yourself, which is why women feel so guilty!”
On disciplining her twins: “By nature I am not tough, believe it or not. No. I am a lover. And with my kids I am even softer. I realize with my son, I have to sometimes be tough, especially now when he’s pushing boundaries. With my daughter, I can get a little stern with her and she pretty much will listen. But my son will just scream and yell and run. I’m like, Aaaaah, what do I do with this?!”
On being 42-years-old: “I don’t feel older, and I don’t feel like I look it, either, so I am just acting the same way I have always acted.”
On conceding to her neediness: Lopez leans forward and shows [the interviewer] a ring she has on her finger. Someone gave it to her right after her divorce as a reminder to “love myself first,” she says. Indeed, it is a diamond band that spells out: I LOVE ME. “That may sound conceited, but it’s not. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anybody else. And I think as women we really forget that. All we want is to be happy, to feel secure, to feel understood. But you can’t look for somebody else to do that for you. You think about it. Oh, yeah, of course I care about myself. Of course I have good self-esteem. But when you really take a good look, you are not treating yourself like someone who does. And when you let people treat you in a way that you don’t want to be treated, it’s not their fault. It’s yours.”
On the focus on her looks on Idol: “I don’t mind it! It’s not a negative thing. If somebody tells me I look nice, just like any other woman, I love it.”
On WTF she’s doing judging talent on Idol: “I’ve been in the music business for years. I know what it is to audition, to perform, to write a song and record and tour. I have something to say, and you never get to talk about stuff like that… Silly me, I thought everybody knew my personality already. And they didn’t! So this is a great time because I feel like people really, finally know me.”
On working during her divorce: “It was very hard to be working, but I had to get up every day in spite of how I felt and go to the set, and I realized how much work helps you in those moments.”
On the process of divorce (she’s not divorced yet): ”Without going into detail…it’s just really, really sad. And look, we are still going through it, and it’s emotional sometimes and difficult. We’re still friends and we’re parents. But it’s going to take time. It’s tough. But for the most part, I feel very proud of the way we’re handling it. I really do. We are doing the best we can for the kids… What you saw today, on Ellen, it’s very dignified and trying to be above all the emotions and pain that come along with a divorce and a family breaking apart. This is grown-up stuff. It’s real, serious, grown-up stuff.”
On Casper Smart: Despite the scary tattoos and shaved head, Smart was polite and very friendly. They are clearly besotted. Indeed, they cannot keep their hands off each other, and it is impossible not to notice just how happy Lopez is around him. She describes herself as a “mushy romantic.” When I ask her what she can tell me about her boyfriend, she says, “Not much,” and giggles. “He’s adorable. But you already see that.” He seems very loving and sweet, I say. “He is. He really is. He’s a good egg. I don’t want to talk about it too much. It’s my private thing.” - via Vogue Magazine.