Jennifer Lopez Says She "Never Wanted to Be Put in a Box" in Moving Innovator Awards Speech

Jennifer Lopez was honored in the pop culture category at WSJ. Magazine's 2020 Innovator Awards. Scroll on to read her powerful acceptance speech.

By Elyse Dupre Nov 12, 2020 5:09 PMTags

Let's get loud for Jennifer Lopez!

The 51-year-old was honored at WSJ. Magazine's 2020 Innovator Awards with the Pop Culture Innovator award on Wednesday, Nov. 11. After being introduced by Maluma, Lopez accepted the accolade and gave a heartfelt speech.

"I love movies and the pretend and the make-believe and the fantasy of what the world could be," she began. "And until the world is 100 percent perfect and completely fixed, I won't ever be done." 

Considering Lopez is an actress, a singer, a dancer, a producer and so much more, it can be hard to sum up her career in just one word.

"From very young, I never wanted to be put in a box," she recalled. "I wanted to be smart, and athletic, and sweet, and tough and a tomboy but also very glam. That's why I became an actress and a performer because you get to be a lot of different things."

Jennifer Lopez's Best Roles

Even from the beginning, she has always remained true to herself. "When I first came on the scene, I wasn't trying to be the size zero model or say I wasn't Latin and change my name. I was Jennifer Lopez. I had a big butt. I embraced that," the two-time Grammy nominee said. "But I didn't want to just be the Latin actress or the one who played those types of roles. I wanted to do different roles."

Courtesy of WSJ Magazine

Her childhood in the Bronx certainly helped shape her, she said: "Growing up in the Bronx really did shape me because I grew up with not a lot," Lopez continued. "Everything about me, my kind of grit, I've never thought about it or described it this way before, but it is the heartbeat inside of me that is the Bronx and my upbringing that continues to drive me."

As for what she hopes her fans can take away from her work, Lopez—who is engaged to Alex Rodriguez—said it's a message of knowing that "you're limitless."

"It's taken me awhile to get to the point where I even realized that for myself," the Hustlers star said. "But now that I do, I really feel and operate with that sensibility all the time that there is nothing that I could not accomplish if I wanted to. And I believe every single person pulls that power."

Watch: Exclusive: Jennifer Lopez Discusses Lack of Latino Representation in Hollywood

So, what's next for the icon? There's no telling what the future holds. "When you're a creator, you know, there is no last chapter. You just keep going," she said. "I'm so happy with everything that's happened in the past 10 years. But the next 10 years? Oh my god. Just wait and see."

Lopez was honored along with BTS, Patti Smith, Tyler Perry, Titus Kaphar, Darren Walker, MASS Design Group and Michaela Coel. However, the accolades don't stop there. Both Lopez and Perry will be recognized at the 2020 E! People's Choice Awards. Lopez is receiving this year's People's Icon Award, and Perry is receiving the People's Champion Award.

To hear Lopez's full acceptance speech, watch the video here.