Jennifer Lopez almost quit showbiz after being 'mocked' for curves

In her new Netflix documentary Halftime, Jennifer Lopez gets candid about the repercussions of fame on her psyche and wellbeing

Jennifer Lopez
(Image credit: Anadolu Agency / Contributor)

Halftime, the new Netflix documentary about the life and career of Jennifer Lopez, is officially streaming on the platform and fans are surprised at how honest the iconic artist is throughout.

In the new Jennifer Lopez documentary, which runs a little over 90 minutes, the 52-year-old artist opens up about her personal life (yes, including her engagement to Ben Affleck, who actually makes an appearance), her stint as a judge on American Idol, her Super Bowl performance alongside Shakira, an almost-Oscar for her role on Hustlers and more. Perhaps most candidly, Jennifer also takes the time to discuss how comments regarding her curvy frame have affected her throughout the years.

At one point in the documentary, Jennifer actually reveals that criticism over her body was so intense that she even considered quitting show business at one point in her life.

"There were many times where I was just like, 'I think I'm just going to quit,'" she says in the film. "I had to really figure out who I was and I believe in that and [I don't] believe in anything else." 

The comments got particularly harsh following her role in Selena in 1997, a production that marked the very first time a Latina actor earned $1 million in a film.

"When I started working, the beauty ideal was very thin, blonde, tall, not a lot of curves," Jennifer explains in the documentary. "I grew up around women with curves so it was nothing I was ever ashamed of. It [is] hard when you think people think you're a joke, a punchline. But it wound up affecting things in a way that I never intended." 

Back then, Jennifer was engaged to Ben (the two split up around 2014 and reunited last year), who also noticed how harsh the public was to his then-fiancee. In the documentary, Ben reflects on that time in their lives. 

"I said to her once, 'Doesn't this bother you?'" he reminisces in the film. "And she said, 'I'm Latina, I'm a woman, I expected this."

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attend the Los Angeles special screening of "Marry Me" on February 08, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

(Image credit: Rich Fury/WireImage/Getty Images)

There is a lot more to unpack in the new documentary, including Jennifer's own thoughts about her "resurgence" following her casting on American Idol in 2011.

"[American Idol was] the first big job I did after I had my babies and it was good for me at that time," she says in the flick. "People could see me for who I was and that changed everything." 

Her participation in the show catapulted her to new levels of fame, with fans dissecting her look every night and praising her ability to coach would-be artists in a poised yet decisive manner, truly getting know to know the star in a different, perhaps even more human, way. 

A decade later and audience members are still enraptured by Jennifer's every move, from her romance with Ben to her relationship with her kids Emme and Maximilian, her extraordinary physique and beauty routine, and more… which is why Halftime will likely become one of Netflix’s most-watch documentaries to date. 

Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers culture, entertainment, food, fashion and travel news. Anna’s words have appeared on Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Us Weekly, Bon Appetit and Brooklyn Magazine, among other outlets.