Rewind: If You Had My Love (Jennifer Lopez)
This week, we take a look at a video (and a song) that launched an actor into pop stardom. Often seen as a taboo pathway, critics are at their best when an actor-cum-popstar wannabe falls flat. However that wasn't what was in the waters for Jennifer Lopez, an actress who had just completed playing the lead role in the film, Selena. If you don't know, Selena was a Latin singing sensation whose life ended entirely too soon. The biopic film sparked an enthusiasm for singing in J-Lo that she used to have as a musical theatre actor. This revived energy for the art prompted her to kick start her singing career. J-Lo recorded a song in Spanish which was sent to Sony. Tommy Mottola was interested in signing her up, but requested that she sing in English instead. This was the beginning of her debut album, On The 6. Chosen for the lead single was the R&B groove, If You Had My Love. The accompanying video was an online voyeuristic concept where J-Lo live streams on her website - Jennifer Lopez Online. Viewers had the ability to direct J-Lo to do different daily activities, all within a minimalistic condo-style apartment. CCTV cameras can be seen on all the walls and J-Lo playfully and seductively interacts with her viewers. The main observer, actor Adam Rodriguez, is seen entering his study and logging onto the website for his daily dose of J-Lo. He follows her from room to room, entirely engrossed in all she does. (FUN FACT, Adam had to be convinced by J-Lo, his close friend, to participate in the video. He wasn’t too keen since actors didn’t really partake in music videos. Safe to say, he is now very happy he did!) Other viewers are women in a kitchen, staff at a call centre, two mechanics mid-job and a young girl in her bedroom that copies J-Lo's dance moves. This representation goes to show J-Lo's appeal is far reaching - men want her, women want to be like her. She is sexy, confident and approachable all at the same time. Her outfits in the video drew complete attention to her body, emphasising body positivity and being comfortable in one's own skin. Of course, J-Lo is an extremely fit woman and seeing her strength and tone on display was a huge boost to women empowerment. During the '90s, the lean supermodel was perhaps seen as what was desirable, but here was J-Lo presenting her athletic body in a positive and empowered way. The video was a HUGE hit and shot J-Lo into a whole new stratosphere of stardom. Thanks to the video's heavy rotation on MTV and other music video programs, J-Lo was starting to be talked about in the same vein as Madonna and Janet Jackson - the only other two women who had broken into worldwide markets in such an impactful way. The theme of the clip, even though 22 years old, is still SO relevant today - perhaps even more so. We hope you enjoy this banger and would love to hear what you think on IG!