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May 15, 2018 10:55 AM

Jennifer Lopez is almost as famous for her curves as she is for her music, but she said that at the start of her career, people in the industry told her to lose weight.

The superstar singer said that she was always proud of her curves.

“They didn’t bother me at all. But I got a lot of flak for it from people in the industry. They’d say, ‘You should lose a few pounds,’ or ‘You should do this or do that.’ It finally got to the point that I was like, ‘This is who I am. I’m shaped like this,’ ” Lopez, 48, told InStyle. “Everybody I grew up with looked like that, and they were all beautiful to me. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I still don’t!”

The mom to twins Emme and Max, 10, said that her family helped her form a positive body image.

“My mom and my grandmother were the ones who drilled into me, ‘This is how we are, and this is what’s beautiful,’ ” Lopez said. “My dad loved my mom’s body — all the men in our family loved the women’s bodies. Being curvy or not being 6 feet tall was never a bad thing; it was actually something that was celebrated. And so, later on, when I brought that in front of the world, I wasn’t really trying to send a message. I was just being myself.”

Jennifer Lopez
Christopher Polk/Getty

Lopez embraced her curves at a time when her generation “was very much focused on size 0 models,” a look that she said “was just so unattainable for most normal people, including me.” By taking that stand, Lopez paved the way for people of all sizes.

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“So many people have come up to me over the years — famous people, people I meet on the street, fans, everybody — and they say that very thing: ‘Thank you so much. I have the same type of body. I used to think I was fat, but now I feel beautiful,’ ” she said.

Jennifer Lopez

Now Lopez — who just debuted her new line of Jennifer Lopez Inglot makeup — is working on passing on her strength to her daughter Emme.

“The one thing I really want to teach her is to love and respect herself first and to make sure she commands respect from others,” Lopez said. “Social media — it’s fun and social, but at the end of the day you’re living in real time, where you have a core group of friends and family. I try to get her to focus on the things that matter: being a good person, friend, and daughter, being happy with herself, and doing the things she loves.”

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