Jennifer Lopez

By Kaitlyn McCracken

Life Brief

Jennifer Lopez was born on July 24, 1970 in The Bronx, New York. She grew up with an older and a younger sister. Her parents were both from Puerto Rico and moved to the U.S. when they got married. Jennifer went to a private catholic school and it was there she developed a strong relationship with God and trusted in him to lead her to the right choices. She knew at age 5 that she wanted to be a star. In addition to all of her other activities, she also had a love of sports. Gymnastics, track, and football were some of her favorite activities.

Background Symbolism

I chose the music background because Jennifer started singing and playing instruments when she was very young. "To give Jennifer the opportunity to explore her talents, her parents enrolled her in dance, classes when she was seven years old. Lessons in ballet, jazz, piano, and theater soon followed" (Hill 16). As she got older, she realized she could sing and decided to make a career singing and dancing.
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3 Significant Facts

Her parent's are from Puerto Rico and although she was born and raised in The Bronx in New York, she credits her culture for bringing out the entertainer in her throughout her career. She is a very talented woman. Throughout the years, she got better and better which spurred her career. Against her parent's wishes, Jennifer decided to pursue her career and decided not to go to college. "David and Guadelupe wanted to be supportive of their daughter's dream, but they didn't want Jennifer to give up her education"(Hill 20). Although she struggled, she never gave up on what she wanted despite criticism. She is a self-driven woman who believes in God and will continue to entertain her fans.

Accomplishments

She started singing, acting, dancing, and doing musical theater at a very young age which gave her a good start. At age 28, she was the highest paid Latina actress in movie history. She received 2 million dollars for the 1998 movie, "Out of Sight." When her first album came out, there was a huge boom in Latin music sales and was soon cast in a role on the TV show, "In Living Color." In 1995, she was cast in the role of Selena and when she signed the contract to play Selena, she became the highest paid Latina actress in history. She was later honored as the grand marshal of the May 1990 National Puerto Rican Day Parade and went on to star in several blockbuster movies. "Besides recording, Jennifer was also doing some product endorsements, filming commercials for L'Oreal hair coloring and cosmetics"(Hill 55).
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Struggle

Her parent's disapproved of her decision not to go to college to pursue her career so she was forced to pursue her career on her own. She moved out of their house and was very poor until she was hired for random jobs. She constantly wondered if she made the right decision. Recording her first album brought feelings of not only excitement, but anxiety and nervousness. At one point, she almost gave up her career to become a hair dresser because of negative comments and criticism she received. "But after giving her sisters a few bad perms, she decided to stick with her dream, no matter what anyone said"(Hill 19). She has been called a diva, for which she hates, and has been accused of being overly ambitious. She decided long ago to rise above that and keep pursuing her dream.

Mentor/ Friend

Her idol as a teenager was Madonna. She dressed like her and loved her music. "She admired performer Rita Moreno and dreamed of playing Maria in West Side Story"(Hill 19).

Awards

Jennifer received 4 awards at the 1998 American Latino Media Arts Awards (ALMAs). The same year, she won a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress and an MTV Movie award nomination. She was named People Magazine's, "50 Most Beautiful People" in 1997 and 1999. In June of 1999, the first single from her debut album went to #1 on the Billboard charts where it later went platinum and sold more than 1 million copies in less than 8 weeks. She won the Teen Choice Award in the summer of 1999 for the video of "If You Had My Love." That was the most popular video of that summer.

Hobbies/ Interests

From a young age, Jennifer loved to sing, dance, do musical theater. As she grew older, she did gymnastics, played softball and ran track. Now she enjoys shopping, going to the spa, getting facials, traveling to the East Coast, working out and meditating.

Symbol

I would use the symbol of a diamond to describe Jennifer. Diamonds are rough to begin with but as someone takes the time to mold the edges and shine it up, it becomes a beautiful stone. Jennifer started life in the Bronx and had to work her way up from nothing to become a beautiful person and role model to whom people can look up to. "While the family she was born into was not wealthy, young Jennifer never felt underprivileged in "el bario", which is Spanish for the neighborhood"(Hill 15)
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Friend or Foe

I think we would be friends. I enjoy dancing and singing and would be able to learn a lot from her about her work ethic and sense of commitment to what she believes in. She seems like a very nice person and someone who would take the time to help anyone in need.

Most Like

Jennifer reminds me a lot of my dad. He has a very strong work ethic and doesn't let anything stand in his way of what he wants. When he sets a goal, he works very hard to accomplish it. He is very religious and has strong morals and beliefs and has worked very hard to get to where he is today.

Altruist or Egotist

I would classify her as a altruist because she is concerned with the wellness of others. This is shown through the relationship she has with her parents. Even though they had hard times, they are a close family and she sees them often. She is also very devoted to her children. Even though she is divorced, her children are her number one priority and she would do anything for them.

Lessons Learned

I have learned a lot about Jennifer Lopez's life but have also learned life lessons from her. She was very determined to accomplish her goals and despite a lot of criticism and hardship, she managed to work hard and accomplish what she wanted to do. She stayed true to her values and didn't let anything stand in her way. "As she struggled to make ends meet, the bright lights of Broadway seemed a very long way from her tiny apartment. She recalled times when she was literally down to her last dollar"(Hill 20).

Some Career Roles

Jennifer has been in several movies, TV shows, and commercials. She was in many TV shows including, "In Living Color" and "Fly Girl." Some of her movies include: "Out of Sight,"The Wedding Planner," "Angel Eyes," "Anaconda," "A Star is Born," "The Cell,", and is the voice of Azteca in "Antz" to name a few. She is also on commercials for L'Oreal hair coloring and cosmetics. She has also developed her own clothing line.
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