Let the record show that I am a huge Jennifer Lopez fan. And as a fan it brings me great pride to announce that Jennifer Lopez is having the best week ever.
In the last seven days Boricua-Bronxite-dancer-singer-actress-mom-designer J. Lo. has been very, very busy. She is headlining a 4-month Las Vegas residency titled “All I Have,” she premiered the new movie “Lila and Eve” on Lifetime co-starring none other than Viola Davis, she is once again inspiring and soothing contestants as the sympathetic judge on the final season of Fox’s American Idol, and she is pulling double duty as a dirty cop on her new primetime television show “Shades of Blue” on NBC. This is just in the last seven days!
So while conversations swirl about on-screen diversity for Latinas and black women, Jennifer Lopez has been quietly getting it done. By “quietly” I certainly am not referring to her social media outlets where she has done her own fearless and necessary self-promotion. Instead, what I mean by “quietly” is that the mainstream media, which is the same media that is always at the ready to hypersexualize Jennifer Lopez and broadcast her romantic partners as news, has paid very little attention to her professional accomplishments of late. The media has silenced Jennifer Lopez’s deserved acclaim. I will not.
We should all take a moment, whether we like her skills as an actress or not, to congratulate my celebrity friend-in-my-head and fellow Bronxite. But before anyone suggests that I am suggesting it, let me be clear: No, Jennifer Lopez’s access and success is not a sign that the serious problems of racial, ethnic, or cultural representation in the US are on the mend. I mean, honestly, if having President Barack Obama as the Leader of the Free World cannot move the US toward possibilities of being post-racial, post-racist, post-dangerousforblackpeopletowalkdownthestreet, wouldn’t it likewise be a stretch to say that Jennifer Lopez is the harbinger of equality in the performing arts arena? Exactly. But, that does not disqualify her from having a very, very good week as a very, very successful actor, performer, and entertainer.