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Jennifer Lopez — or as some fans call her, “Jenny from the Block” — comes off as fierce, ultra-confident, and so self-assured. But like everyone, she has her low moments. Lopez said in the past that there have been times when she’s felt really down and affected by things people have said about her.

The “Get Right” singer opened up in a throwback interview about some of the negative things she’s heard about herself and shared the most hurtful criticism of all.

Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet in January 2020
Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet in January 2020 | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Jennifer Lopez talks about the criticisms she’s received

Lopez opened up at a media event in November 2018 following a screening for her film Second Act, which hit theaters a month later. Reflecting on the earlier days of her career, Lopez admitted that she used to doubt herself.

After she put out her first song, album, and movie, she said she thought she was “killing it.” But some people felt otherwise. Lopez said many people believed she was talentless and only relevant because she was pretty and had a curvy body. She admitted this criticism “hurt” her for years.

“Everybody’s like, ‘She can’t sing. She can’t dance. She can’t act. She’s just some pretty face or her butt is big’ or whatever they were saying about me and I started thinking, ‘Yeah, that’s true,’” she recalled. “And it really hurt me for a long time.” As Lopez spoke, she fought back tears.

But despite the way the backlash made her feel, Lopez said she decided to keep going.

“I just couldn’t allow myself to let that become who I was. I was like, ‘No, I’m gonna make another record, I’m gonna make another song, I’m gonna make another movie,’” she continued. “‘I’m a great actress, I’m a great singer, a great dancer, I’m great at this stuff! And I’m gonna keep going!’ And I did, and that’s all I did. I just kept going. And I just started working harder and harder than everybody else.”

“I started believing in myself,” she added. “I started believing in the fact that I wasn’t an imposter, that I wasn’t a fake.”

Jennifer Lopez’s career has taken off

Lopez has released eight successful albums to date. She’s also established herself as an actor and executive producer. Her most recent film, 2019’s Hustlers, even received a Golden Globe nomination.

Beyond that, Lopez recently performed at the Super Bowl LIV halftime show — which is arguably her biggest achievement yet. She took the stage with fellow Latin artist Shakira at the Feb. 2 event and delivered a career-spanning performance.

Speaking to Vanity Fair about her decision to do the show, Lopez said: “It’s a perfect moment in my life, honestly, but it’s also a great time for a Latina woman to take the stage at the biggest all-American event, with everything that’s going on in the country right now.”

“I’m super happy to represent my community, to represent women, and to represent everybody, you know? It’s a big platform to bring people together…. It gets a lot of eyeballs,” she continued. “So if you can spread a little bit of love and positivity, and make people know that we’re all in this together? I look at it as a blessing.”

The performance received widespread praise from critics and has been considered one of the best halftime shows in Super Bowl history.

In hindsight, it’s a good thing Lopez kept going and didn’t let the naysayers get to her. Let’s see what she cooks up next.