Jennifer Lopez discusses the struggles of being a woman in show business

Jennifer Lopez has been a Hollywood staple for decades thanks to her music and acting. Now, the 49-year-old star is opening up about the struggles she’s overcome and still faces as a woman in entertainment.

JLo sat down for an in-depth cover story with Harper’s Bazaar magazine for its February issue in which she discussed having such a long legacy in Hollywood, finally giving herself some credit and the uphill battle she faced merely for being a woman in the industry.

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“I feel very proud that I’ve survived as long as I have in this business. At this point in my life, I’m trying to give myself more credit. It’s hard when people are always telling you that you’re not good at things or saying, ‘Why is she successful?’ You get a lot of that when you’re a successful woman,” Lopez said. “You don’t get that as much when you’re a man. The thing about people, women especially, is that you can have 12 people telling you you’re amazing, but that one person kind of putting you down, that’s the voice that sticks in your head.”

She continued: “Then finally you go, ‘Wait, I’m not lying. I’ve been doing this a long time. This is not a mistake. I worked hard to be here.’ And you know what? Congratulations to myself. Not in an arrogant way, by any means. It’s like, ‘You’re doing good, baby. Give yourself a break.’”

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Lopez’s longtime producing partner, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, echoed these sentiments noting that the star has built a good place in her life right now, thanks in large part to boyfriend Alex Rodriguez and her children, but notes that the public still mischaracterizes her rise to fame.

“I think she looks at life as an opportunity to live - you rest when you die,” Goldsmith-Thomas told the outlet. “But she’s in a great place in her life.

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She added: “We devalue women who do more than one thing. Jennifer has actually been an exception to the rule, but I don’t think she gets the credit she deserves.”