Here’s the obvious tea: Latinx people have undoubtedly made monumental cultural contributions to U.S. history. As someone of Peruvian descent, I’ve learned new ways to value my heritage as I’ve grown older and wiser. (For example, I no longer think of it solely as an excuse for eating tons of tres leches cake.) Appreciating Latinx culture should be forever ongoing, and lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on influential Latinx icons in the entertainment industry. When I think of Latinx pop-culture icons,
Jennifer Lopez (and her iconic outfits) pops into my mind right away.
Believe me when I say I spent a lot of my childhood (and, well, my current life) admiring, listening, and dancing to J.Lo and her bops. I can shamelessly say my elementary school years were jam-packed with accessories and outfits I bought in hopes of mirroring her music video looks. But can you blame me? The incredible impact J.Lo has made on the music industry — and on our society in general — is undeniable. She's used her huge platform to give Latinx individuals a voice, all while rocking some killer 'fits. In celebration of her impact — on Latinx culture and otherwise — here’s a look at 10 of
J.Lo's most unforgettable looks. Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Imagine looking so stunning in a dress that you changed the landscape of the internet — that’s the life J.Lo lives. No, really. When J.Lo first rocked this jungle print Versace dress at the 2000 Grammy Awards, it was so widely searched that it inspired the launch of Google Images.
Fast forward to 2019, when
J.Lo wore a slightly altered version of the same dress to close out Versace’s Spring 2020 show in Milan. She looked like a confident powerhouse of perfection as she strutted down the runway... so clearly nothing has changed from the first time she wore the sexy green ensemble. Also, I really need to know what moisturizer and body lotion she uses, so I can try to cop her unwavering, hardcore glow. Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Earlier in 2019, J.Lo stepped out on stage for her
It's My Party tour in a fitted Versace jumpsuit covered in Swarovski crystals. The asymmetrical piece featured her signature plunging neckline, but had only one pant leg and one sleeve, which covered her hand in a sparkling glove. Her mic and booties were also heavily decked out in crystals, so it was impossible for anyone in her L.A. audience to miss her on stage. Scott Gries/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
For her performance of “I’m Real” with Ja Rule at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, J.Lo leveled up the matching two-piece set trend with a complementary fedora. Her asymmetrical skirt remained loyal to the early 2000s' low-rise standards, and she doubled-up on some wrap work with a criss-cross wrap top and satin wrap heels. If you look closely at her heels, you’ll also see an anklet — a core accessory of the early 2000s.
In her "I’m Real" music video, J.Lo busted moves in another early 2000s staple — a monochromatic velour tracksuit. I, too, owned an impressive collection of velour tracksuits in the early 2000s, when Juicy Couture sets were highly coveted by me and all my friends. Naturally, I owned one in the same shade of pink as J.Lo, because, well,
her impact. Her hoop earrings, layered necklaces, and abundance of thin bangle bracelets topped this look off to make it a Very Important Moment in music video history. Mark Mainz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Another pivotal moment in styling history is the pink jacket J.Lo wore in her music video for "All I Have." The coat's baby pink hue perfectly complements her lip gloss and rosy cheeks. I think it's safe to say J.Lo 1000% made the case for looking fire, even while bundled up in a coat — a vibe I'm absolutely trying to emulate year 'round.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
J.Lo's bright gold dress at the
Hustlers movie premiere at the Toronto Film Festival assured everyone her radiance is as bold and enduring as ever. The ruffle-packed dress’ plunging neckline and leg slit, paired with some strappy silver heels, make this look a sexy, feminine masterpiece — and that wasn't even it. J.Lo also had a mind-bogglingly perfect accessory: a bejeweled clutch designed to look like a stack of money. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
At the 2015 Met Gala, when the theme was "China: Through The Looking Glass," J.Lo donned a red, one-shoulder Versace dress designed to look like a dragon wrapped around her body. But really, one of the coolest things about this dress is that it actually looks like it’s on fire, thanks to the red gradient hemline, which fades into the sheer, nude material at her hips.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
J.Lo is the unofficial queen of cutouts and sparkles, and her customized vest with “J.Lo” bedazzled on the back added the most perfect personal touch when she wore it on stage at the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. In peak New Yorker fashion, she also wore a flat-brim baseball cap with a “NY” logo on it. And naturally, her cap was decked out in rhinestones to match her vest. Even more, the cutout pattern on her white bodysuit creates a dynamic silhouette, and the sneaker heels with gold chains are the cherries on top this classic J.Lo look.
Sergi Alexander/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
The dress J.Lo wore to the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards is so striking, I had an emotional reaction when I first saw it — I literally shed a few tears over her beauty. (Don’t judge me.) This dress is impeccably elegant and sexy, with its deep-V neckline, open back, and cutouts along her rib cage and waist. The smaller cutouts on the dress’ sparkly paneling include a mix of shapes, which makes this look so hypnotizing, you can't look away.
An Early 2000s Time Capsule
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Of course, I absolutely can't forget J.Lo's look from the 2004 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, mostly because it’s a cornucopia of early 2000s trends. Every aspiring “It” girl in 2004 tried out a slouchy knit beret over curly pigtails — I myself had a fantastic sequined one from Limited Too. With dangling bejeweled earrings, a sequined shrug, and an overload of rings, bracelets, and other sparkly accessories, J.Lo solidified herself as a Style Queen this day. To top it all off, her low-rise cargo capris literally
are the early 2000s in a nutshell.
From wearing jaw-dropping Versace gowns to rocking pedal pushers with several pockets, J.Lo is not only one of the greatest Latinx influences, but she will forever be a fashion icon.
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