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Jennifer Lopez has been named Adweek's 2021 Brand Visionary and her boyfriend, Ben Affleck, says it's a well-deserved honor. The Last Duel star spoke to Adweek about how he's "in awe" of what she's done for representation in the industry.
"All I can tell you is that I have seen firsthand the difference representation makes because I have seen, over and over and over and over, women of color approach Jennifer and tell her what her example as a strong woman and a woman succeeding and demanding her fair share in the business world means to them," the 49-year-old shared.
"I am in awe of what Jennifer’s effect on the world is. At most, as an artist, I can make movies that move people. Jennifer has inspired a massive group of people to feel they have a seat at the table in this country," Affleck gushed. "That is an effect few people throughout history have had, one I will never know and one I can only stand by and admire with respect."
Lopez has been building her personal brand for decades, well before being an "influencer" was a job. The entrepreneur explained how she was conscious of brands to partner with early on in her career.
"I chose to be a brand ambassador for companies like L'Oréal and Louis Vuitton when others weren’t really doing that. There was so much kind of taboo for real artists or actresses or recording artists to do those type of things. But I felt that it was important to start seeing somebody who looked like me in those ads, because it had been the same look for so long. And to see a Latina there, a young Latin girl, at the time for me was very, very important," she said.
"I took that chance and knew that it would be something that could make a difference," Lopez continued. "Now, I’ve transitioned into taking on a much more active role by becoming a founder, an owner and sometimes even an investor in companies that I have a unique and authentic connection with, companies that I believe are doing good work or doing something that resonates with me, or I feel resonates with the people who are my audience or who grew up like me."
Lopez said women are "creating this hurricane" to get seats at the table.
"We are creating a storm right now, and it is going to change things. When the storm is over, the things that need to be knocked away will have been washed away. And then there's going to be this beautiful rainbow, and it’s going to be a new day," she said. "And that's what's happening in the world right now. That's what I want for my kids, not just my daughter, but for my son too. I want him to be just as conscious about women as my daughter is for herself." (Lopez shares 13-year-old twins, Max and Emme, with ex-husband, Marc Anthony.)
The Hustlers actress has been a star for decades, which is no small feat. Lopez credits that for knowing her worth and "to value what you contribute."
"Ultimately know when and how to build and capitalize on that. So, it's about being the scarce asset. What we've been sold as artists is you're a dime a dozen. The next girl will come along and there's somebody that will be younger than you and better than you, and that's not the truth," she stated. "It's like you’re disposable, and especially as women. For me, what I realize is … no, there's only one me. There's only one that person. There's only one that person. There's only one that person. And what they each have to offer is uniquely different than everybody else."
Lopez added, "I am the scarce asset — somebody who is a proven creator, artist and entrepreneur who has an ability to really connect with people. That is my blessing, and what I feel is an incredible, incredible gift that I've been given from God. And I don’t take it for granted. I cherish it and try to use it in the best way that I always can."