So this morning while doing my internet rounds, I (Marco) happened on This Recording, as I frequently do, and their latest post, “On J. Lo” by the always wonderful Molly Young. The post is a wonderful one, talking about J. Lo’s video for “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” talking about how from a narrative stand point, the video consists of Jennifer Lopez’ long march, casting off each other her material possessions, revealing more and more of “a perfect disquisition on femininity.” Miss Young goes on to talk about how J. Lo, who used to be so popular, so trendsetting in a way, and is no longer considered such, reveals herself at the end of the video to be incredibly beautiful, no longer resembling the specificity of J. Lo, and instead looking more timeless, like Sargent’s Madame X, or the portraits of Jeanne Samary by Renoir.
It’s an excellent post on timeless beauty about a beauty who’s time has seemingly passed and I almost posted a comment to say how much I really liked it (which is no surprise because I, like you, frequently like or possible even love the writing of Molly Young and the rest of the TR crew), but then i didn’t. Well, I did. I got into the comment box and I started typing. And typing. And I started exploring my thoughts on Jennifer Lopez and that bygone era and, as is the usual case with me, I just kept talking. Too much, in fact (as is the usual case with me), so I stopped. You know what I did then? I got onto gchat and talked with Lollipop about it, as I frequently do in these cases…
Lollipop Gomez: So what was your comment going to be?
Marco Sparks: I would’ve said: This is a beautiful post on beauty, and I especially love that you brought up Sargent, Madame X, and Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau. But is it wrong that J. Lo appealed to me less and less after Out Of Sight? That’s a film that I feel is criminally under appreciated and was also possibly the last time that Jennifer Lopez was an actress (before her return to film became an endless string of Kate Hudson-esque roles)(and there’s nothing wrong Kate Hudson, if that’s what you want to be) and a potentially normal person. After that she became a bombastic explosion of… well, more bordering on manipulated exaggeration of femininity and a pop culture volcano than something real and unique. There’s nothing wrong with reaching those heights in your career and how you’re displayed and enjoying a celebration of your full power as a woman, but I feel that at that point, I was missing Jenny From The Block. Is she again Jenny From The Block, just with more paper at her disposal, or was she ever really Jenny From The Block?
Marco: I meant for that to only be three sentences essentially saying that I liked the post, but, uh, it kind of snowballed.
Lollipop: Of course! And yeah, what happened to her was interesting, especially now when she does nothing but be demanding.
Marco: Yeah, exactly.
Lollipop: Just thinking about J. Lo… which is an odd thing to be thinking about. I’ve read a ton of essays by feminist writers on Beyonce’s new song, so it’s interesting to go with a somewhat outdated cultural reference.
Marco: Yeah. Which is what she really is. I mean, do you anticipate her returning to music anytime soon? Or acting? Would you even care if she did/didn’t?
Lollipop: Right. Her music was good for… gay club music. But I can’t see her coming back.
Marco: The machine was already eaten her up as much as it probably cares to. We’ve given her millions for pictures of her kids. We’ve watched her exes go through trials and marry others and have reality shows and fuck Kim Kardashian and her mom. Thanks, J. Lo, it’s been real. We’re on our way to destroy ScarJo and LiLo, if we can. And there’s always Britney…
Then there was some discussion about how we should make this into the post you’re reading now… So meta! And we pondered what to title it…
Lollipop: I’d love to call it “My Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” but I don’t want to rip off Molly too much. There’s another song… “Waiting For Tonight.” Man, that song ruled.
Marco: It wasn’t bad. Talk about a song made for the club. Ha ha! I just read that her remix album was called J To Tha L O! Brilliant!
Lollipop: So good.
Then some discussion on other matters before…
Lollipop: So, back to the post… Hasn’t J. Lo released anything lately? I feel like she has.
Marco: According to wikipedia, there was an album released last year that I certainly don’t remember and a greatest hits package coming out next year.
Lollipop: I bet they are terrible. That one album of hers, On The 6? The 6 being the subway line that goes to “the block.” I’m sure she hasn’t ridden the subway in literally years. How can she sing to us now? She’s so rich.
Marco: She would have to sing from the perspective of being rich, wouldn’t she? I mean, don’t tell me you’re Jenny From The Block if you own the fucking block, you know?
Lollipop: Right. But who can relate to that?
Marco: Exactly. I’m beyond loathe to bring this up, but John Mayer actually did a pretty funny video about that at Funny Or Die.
Lollipop: I like Mayer. I liked him On Chappelle’s show… Oh, I’ve seen this! Aww, Kristen Bell.
Marco: Yeah. Kristen Bell. Oh, yes.
Lollipop: I like when he grabs the sandwich.
Marco: I like that there’s a sandwich waiting for him. That’s the Dream.
Lollipop: Seriously. And then he throws it away.
Marco: Also the Dream.
Marco: Maybe it’s pointless to talk about realness anymore. Realness just gets remixed with a Ja Rule collab. Beauty too, maybe.