Hola mi gente!
Hope you all are doing well. It has been a minute. I know. But I am back to let you in on a discussion you do not want to miss! Tomorrow, December 4th, will be the premier of #latinachatmedia: The JLo Mystique! Yes, it will be all about Jennifer Lopez aka Jenny from the block aka la JLo!!
I had the honor of getting an exclusive viewing of the latest #latinaschatmedia: The JLo Mystique from the creator, Linda Nieves-Powell, herself. She is a Latina producer, director and editor. She started the #latinaschatmedia with the purpose of having Latina artists get together to have in-depth conversations on how latinas/os are represented in the media and providing ways to promote growth within the artistic community at large.
What compelled her to have this chat about JLo you may be thinking? Well, Nieves-Powell found that many women are on the fence about her, they have a love/hate relationship with her. She couldn’t understand why. JLo is a Latina doing her thing as an artist, as a fashion icon, as an entrepreneur, and as an actress. She is a straight up hustler yet many seem to be mystified by her. Not everyone is happy for her being a Latina in Hollywood. Some feel she doesn’t deserve that position because she is not the best vocalist or actress. Some critique her for doing the booty video with Izzy Azalea at her age. Some critique her because of the many relationships she has had. Some critique for not doing enough for the community specifically the Bronx, being that she claims it all the time—Jenny from the block, hello! And would she even consider herself a feminist? Is she a feminist? So because of these points and more, why not put together a platform where Latinas can voice their ideas about JLo, putting it all out there, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Well she did just that. And it was brilliant. She gathered together 5 fierce Latina artists, 3 of JLo super fans and 1 PhD student to weigh in on how JLo is being perceived today and is it okay from a feminist academic stand point.
I have to admit that I am a JLo fan. I respect the fact that she doesn’t let fear stop her from doing what she is set out to do. It does not matter if she is good or not because, do I think she can sing or act well? No, not at all, but she does it anyway. I think that should count for something. She is showing her fans that with determination and persistence you can achieve whatever you desire. However, after listening to all the perspectives and point of views of all the ones involved I can see why these conversations are important. It is because what started as a dialogue on why Latinas have mixed feelings on how JLo portrays herself or is perceived, it turned into a meaningful exchange of how we place or how we hold our people accountable, especially women.
This was one of the many topics that intrigued me the most. We really set the bar high for our own, within reason I would presume, but with that comes a lot of responsibility. Is it fair? I honestly do not think so. She is only one person. We cannot assume that she is going to represent the whole Latino community as we see fit. It is impossible to give one person that autonomy. At the end of the day she is a performer doing what she loves to do. She gives her audience what they want, a performance. Why do we expect so much from her, from one person? Hasn’t she done enough? As the academic Phd student said, “we place unrealistic expectations on one person to represent us (Latinos)”. She speaks so much truth. And another thing, why can’t she show off her body in her forties without being critiqued about it, she looks pretty darn good, she has worked for her body to be that way. So what if she has kids. She is showing us that just because you are mother it doesn’t mean you have to hide your body. JLo is teaching her children to be happy in the skin that they are in especially her daughter. I mean, I get it as consumers, spectators, admirers we are always analyzing, contextualizing and even psychologizing those we see in the media because they put themselves out there but aren’t we doing too much? Aren’t we scrutinizing too much? Isn’t she human like the rest of us? Why can’t we take her for what she is? An entertainer.
I don’t want to give too much because I know you need to see for yourself how these conversations empower and enlighten us. I think these chats are necessary because this is an ongoing discussion that needs to be expanded in all of its forms. I’m just giving you a glimpse of what you will experience. I truly feel Nieves-Powell did an incredible job of weaving all point of views together and left us wanting more. Job well done to everyone who participated!
You don’t want to miss it!! Stay tuned for #latinaschatmedia: The JLo Mystique. I would love to hear your views after you’ve finished watching it.
Here is the link where you can watch it mañana at 3 pm: http://www.latinaschatmedia.com
This has been Beauty, Brains and Blogging approved! 😉
All pics are by Linda Nieves-Powell.