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Jennifer Lopez: Icon & Influencer of a Generation

By Diane Cervantes

This year, Jennifer Lopez was the recipient of the MTV VMAs Vanguard Award, making her the first Latina to receive such an honor. Her performance included her most recognizable hits, including classics like “Jenny From the Block,” “Waiting For Tonight,” “I’m Real,” “Get Right” and “On the Floor.” She brought the 6 train to the stage and killed it. Within her acceptance speech she expressed how she was constantly told to stick to one thing, but as we have seen throughout her career she did not take that into account nor did she limit her dreams and goals. This is an example of her resilience and how she took matters into her own hands in order to create a lane for herself.

The Actress

It’s been over 20 years since she debuted as a “Fly Girl” on In Living Color and has continued her path to superstardom. Following In Living Color, she starred in the biographical adaptation of Selena, where Lopez portrayed the late Tex-Mex singer (who is a legend in her own right). The role was was very significant to J.Lo’s career because to this day Selena Quintanilla still has such a strong influence and presence in the Latino community.

The Style Icon

We can’t talk about J.Lo without including what a style icon she is. Remember the Versace gown from the 2000 Grammys? The world was more than intrigued, so much so that Jennifer is credited to have inspired the creation of Google’s Image Search because so many people wanted to see the notorious look. Her music videos and red carpet appearances are super memorable because of the details found in her style and wardrobe. White bandana fit, fur on yacht look, the glowy skin, the list goes on.

In addition to being a fashionista, the self-claimed “workaholic,” is skillful in a series of areas, with much experience under her belt. It is easy to classify her as a singer/actress, but the Bronx native is beyond that. Not only is she a phenomenal dancer, the multi-hyphenate is a producer for World of Dance and her own Shades of Blue.

The Humanitarian

When hurricane Maria hit and devastated the island and people of Puerto Rico, Lopez held a disaster relief concert One Voice (Somos Una Voz) where she raised money to allocate funds for her mother-country. Apart from raising $25M through the benefit concert she also donated $1M of her own. Alongside her sister Lynda, they founded the Lopez Family Foundation that is a global non-profit that is dedicated to improve the health and well-being of women and children with the aim of providing accessible medical care.


Jennifer Lopez is an incredible woman that has continued to push forward and realize her goals. She’s an icon not only in the United States, but across the globe.

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