Jennifer Lopez: How I Shed My ("Unfair!") Diva Image

Actress/singer opens up about how she learned to "just be human," and finding strength in vulnerability

By Kristin Dos Santos Jan 22, 2015 8:52 PMTags
Jennifer LopezSINY/AKM-GSI

Let the record show: Any day that Jennifer Lopez starts quoting "Jenny From the Block"…it's a good day.

While discussing the current season of American Idol (airing tonight on Fox), Lopez opened up about her image in the public eye, and got pretty candid about her struggle with overcoming a less-than-stellar reputation.

"I feel like they labeled me a diva early on in my career," Jennifer tells E! News. "Unfairly, unfairly!" she adds with a laugh. "And as people have gotten to know me over the years, they've seen that I haven't changed and I'm still the same person."

So what was the turning point that helped Jennifer show her true self, and shed that diva rap for good? Jen's pal Ryan Seacrest has a theory…

"Can I just say," he adds, "American Idol really showcases who Jen is. It's a platform that gets to show you what this woman is like, and what she is and what she stands for. I think that's what's  been cool is there's a candor people don't get to see."

Jen agrees. "I think before Idol, when you're in the public eye, it's about putting your best foot forward. 'I want to put my best foot forward, I have this image. This is what I wanna do.'  But with Idol, it made me realize like, I can just be human. I can be myself. I can by myself. And It's OK. And once people saw, 'Oh, this is the human behind the music and behind the movies that she's in, I actually like this person.' And I realize in that vulnerability, there is strength. In letting yourself be who you really are."

To hear more about what Jen has to say about being true to herself—plus, her future on American Idol and her amazing dating advice, press play right here...

Watch: Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Seacrest Dish New "Idol" Scoop