If you’ve followed Jennifer Lopez’s story, you know she started out dirt-poor in the Bronx. On a leap of faith, she ditched college to make her dreams of stardom come true. In interviews, she speaks of sleeping in a dance studio and eating dollar pizza to not only survive but thrive. And she did.
Her 1997 film “Selena” was (and still is) a classic and in 2001, she was the first female artist to ever have a number one movie, “The Wedding Planner,” and a number one album, “J.LO” simultaneously. But if J. Lo can teach us anything it’s this: to ignore those who wish to bring you down.
In 2018, she was honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. This same award was given to icons like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and Madonna. Her success is endless but so is the criticism heaped upon her… but she doesn’t show the world that she cares. She lives her life no matter what the haters say.
Just last week, countless articles were published expressing that Lopez was not the right fit for the 2019 Grammy‘s Motown Tribute. Reasons included: she’s Hispanic (although some said it was not about race), she doesn’t have the vocal range of a Motown singer, she’s a dancer, not a singer, she never experienced the culture of Motown firsthand, and so on.
Since when was life a competition or a comparison? Since when did a tribute to honor become a tribute to mimic exactly? The reason for a tribute is to honor those who made an impact. The reason for a tribute is to express love and appreciation. How could anyone come out of a tribute and be labeled as not enough because of it? That’s the world we live in, but that is also the world that Jennifer Lopez continues to defy.
When is one good enough? If someone who has accomplished all of the success that Lopez has and is still being picked apart, judged, and criticized for doing her job — entertaining the world, then are we all in a race we’ll never win? But the way Lopez handles the criticism is what’s inspiring.
Before the big night, talk shows were weighing in on Lopez’s rumored Motown tribute, and the internet was buzzing about it. This easily could’ve made her pull up the covers and sleep through the show, but she took to the stage and put on the best show she could to make Motown fans proud. As Lopez rocked out, I learned so much.
Because of her humble yet powerfully nonchalant response to the backlash, I feel like I won my own internal war. I no longer crave the reassurance of others. Neither should you.
Lopez’s Grammy’s backlash should help us all breathe a sigh of relief. We can throw in the towel to the outside noise. We can stop trying to seek the approval of the world and fall to pieces when they don’t say what we want to hear. We should continue to do what is in our heart and never think twice about others.
Imagine if Lopez listened to every person who said she’s not enough. She wouldn’t be where she is today. She wouldn’t have sold millions of albums. She wouldn’t have made the movies we love. She wouldn’t have gotten so many hooked on the tales of a tough cop with a soft heart. She wouldn’t have exploded on Latin charts. She wouldn’t have had the courage to step out of her comfort zone in the Bronx and become the phenomenal success she is today.
So, when the world is filling your head with reasons to stop, do the very opposite. If we allow even one person to dictate the choices we make or just how hot the fire in our own soul shall burn, then we are not living and our spark will never be ignited let alone grow.
Noise will stop you. People will stop you. Judgment will stop you. But don’t let it. Jennifer Lopez has always been unstoppable. Her response to the Motown Tribute naysayers is more evidence of how she’s been able to accomplish so much. She does it all, regardless.
And we should, too.