People Told Jennifer Lopez To Lose Weight. Instead, She Sent An Empowering Message.

"This is who I am."

Actress and singer Jennifer Lopez was raised to be confident in her body, but those in the entertainment world haven't always been as accepting. In a new interview with InStyle, Lopez opens up about being told to lose weight when she first started her career, and how she responded.

Lopez told the magazine that she never tried to hide her curves, "because they didn't bother me at all," adding, "But I got a lot of flak for it from people in the industry. They'd say, 'You should lose a few pounds,' or 'You should do this or do that.' "

"It finally got to the point that I was like, 'This is who I am. I'm shaped like this,' " the World of Dance judge continued. "Everybody I grew up with looked like that, and they were all beautiful to me. I didn't see anything wrong with it. I still don't!"

Lopez credits her mother and grandmother for teaching her to embrace her body type. "Being curvy or not being 6 feet tall was never a bad thing; it was actually something that was celebrated," she shared. "And so, later on, when I brought that in front of the world, I wasn't really trying to send a message. I was just being myself."

Nevertheless, her confidence has inspired many women to feel good about themselves. "So many people have come up to me over the years — famous people, people I meet on the street, fans, everybody," Lopez told InStyle, "and they say that very thing: 'Thank you so much. I have the same type of body. I used to think I was fat, but now I feel beautiful.' "

By revealing her refusal to change herself according to other people's standards, we wouldn't be surprised if she inspires even more people to love themselves the way they are and ignore the body shamers.

It's not the first time Lopez has opened up about the pressures she experienced early in her career. In March, she shared her own story of sexual harassment, and how she pushed against it despite fearing how it would impact her career. "I haven't been abused in the way some women have," Lopez told Harper's Bazaar. "But have I been told by a director to take off my shirt and show my boobs? Yes, I have. But did I do it? No, I did not."

"I didn't get kissed into this business. I'm from the Bronx," she explained of how she stays motivated. "I had to find my way, so I've always felt like I had to prove myself. Maybe that's a good drive to have. I never settle for mediocre."

(H/T: Today)

Cover image: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

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