Lately, I’ve been getting more questions than ever about my apparent inability to age. And so, I’ve decided at last to come clean.
Though I’m blessed with great genes that allow me, a 51-year-old woman, to possess the radiant complexion of a 20-something who’s never worked a retail job during the holidays, there’s another, more preternatural component behind my J. Lo glow.
The truth is that I, Jennifer Lopez, am in possession of a life-size portrait that absorbs the passage of time on my behalf.
I had the painting commissioned twenty years ago, after seeing myself in that infamous Versace dress at the 2001 Emmys. Gazing upon glossy paparazzi photos, I knew I wanted the image preserved forever, so that when I was old, I could look at it and think, “See? You were hotter than Shakira!”
So, I jetted off to London and had my portrait done by an artist named Basil Hallward. Since Instagram hadn’t yet been invented, I learned about his work through something called “Craigslist.” Basil was a huge fan of my work, often comparing me to a Greek goddess and deeming me his greatest muse. He even agreed that I should have been allowed to sing on the Selena soundtrack.
Though Basil was delighted with his finished masterpiece, I wasn’t initially a fan. In fact, when I first saw my portrait, all I felt was sadness. As I stood there looking at my dewy skin and impossibly toned stomach, I swore I’d do anything if that the painting could grow old instead of me. And I suppose my wish came true, because I haven’t aged a day since.
Once my new painting was mounted on my bedroom wall, I felt unstoppable. I ended my marriage to a back-up dancer whose name I can no longer remember, and found my very own Prince Charming, AKA Ben Affleck before he was sad. Propelled by our attraction and mutual good looks, we decided to make a movie together. It wasn’t too long after, however, that things began to change.
It all began one morning in 2003, when I was reading early reviews of Gigli. Since that level of criticism would normally cause me to break out in hives, I was shocked to discover I still possessed the skin of a three-day-old baby. But when I looked over at my portrait, I immediately noticed the change: its once-supple skin had erupted in stress acne and its breasts had dropped at least a quarter of an inch.
I knew what I had to do. I ended my relationship with Ben, and hid the portrait in my second favorite walk-in closet, where no one but me and my team of stylists would ever notice its transformation.
I threw myself into work, starring in provocative films like Monster-in-Law and Shall We Dance? I even reunited with Marc Anthony, rationalizing that while he may not be perfect, he was unlikely to ever acquire a full-back tattoo. To an outsider, I seemed to have a perfect life. But in private, I lived in fear that my secret would be discovered.
As the years went by, people began to question my ageless appearance. When asked about my anti-aging secrets, I offered up BS explanations like, “I make sure to get plenty of sleep,” and “I never leave the house without SPF.” For some strange reason, people actually believed me.
In fact, no one ever guessed my secret, until one day, Basil himself decided to pay me a visit. When he repeatedly asked to see his masterpiece, I took him upstairs and revealed my changed portrait.
To say Basil was shocked would be an understatement. After years of absorbing time on my behalf, the haggard portrait now looked like Hollywood’s worst nightmare: a middle-aged woman who’s never had access to plastic surgery.
Horrified, Hallward begged me to repent, but I insisted it was too late —Jersey Girl is forever archived in film history, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. I told him he needed to back off or I’d subject him to a fate worse than death: social media cancellation.
However, with the recent release of my J.Lo beauty line, I cannot in good conscience stand by any longer, and let women think that spending on my $64.00 (a $90.00 value) on my That JLo Glow 4-Piece Kit will have the same effect on a woman’s skin as surrendering her soul in an otherworldly bargain. It’s simply a glorified bait-and-switch.
You might be wondering if I plan to destroy the portrait and free my spirit. Unfortunately, the timing just isn’t right, as I’m currently filming a movie, recording a new album, and spearheading a campaign for Matthew McConaughey to ditch the heavy dramas and return to making rom-coms.
But I will say this: We must all accept that aging is a natural part of life. It is normal, it is healthy, and there’s nothing any of us can do to stop it. No matter what Gwyneth Paltrow says.
Lindsay Hameroff is a humor writer and satirist. She lives in Harrisburg, PA with her husband and two kids. Her work has been published in Little Old Lady Comedy, Slackjaw, Points in Case, Frazzled, and more. In her spare time, she can be found reading, cooking, wrangling children, or fantasizing about making brisket for Harry Styles. You can find her on Twitter @LindsayHameroff.