Even Jennifer Lopez was told she had to lose weight early on in her career.
The 46-year-old singer told fans about the body shaming she experienced during her early days in Hollywood, while at an Emmy For Your Consideration Event in Los Angeles on Thursday in support for her hit NBC series Shades of Blue.
“They kept telling me to lose weight,” Lopez recalled, according to E!. “And I was a dancer and I was athletic and even my manager at the time, who I no longer work with, um, was telling me, ‘You need to lose weight. You need to be thinner.’ ”
“I was like, ‘No I don’t. If I lose any more weight it won’t be me.’ You know what I mean?,” Lopez, 46, added.
Lopez was inspired to tell the story when a fan said the “Ain’t Your Mama” singer’s famous curves inspired her to stop wearing sweatshirts around her waist.
“It was definitely a fight, and so it’s good to hear that it helped anybody in some way,” Lopez said, thanking the fan for her openness. “At the end of the day I was just trying to be myself without trying to fit into a mold of what everybody else should be.”
J. Lo went on to say that she’s glad Hollywood’s evolved for its close-minded aesthetic.
“It’s a different time now you know, which is awesome to see for me where it is about our differences. It’s about all the diversity It’s just a more accepting time of everything whether it’s body type or race or gender. We’ve come a long way,” she said.
Of course, Lopez has embraced her curves over the years, telling The View recently, “I fluctuate, I fluctuate! I go up and down about 7 to 8 lbs. all the time, you know what I mean?”
And even if she occasionally feels “chunky,” Lopez feels confident, telling PEOPLE editorial director Jess Cagle what she’s learned to love about herself over the years.
“That I’m flawed,” she said. “I actually love that part now … I used to hate it because I’m such a perfectionist.”
By Dave Quinn