"The house, a classic white brick manse, is huge—nine bedrooms—and sprawls out from the center hall with two giant wings. The interior is echt J.Lo: luxe, modern, and sexy—dark floors, gray curtains and walls, pastel-colored furniture. Her assistant, Gilly, deposits me in Lopez’s office and says, “Jennifer will be down shortly.” I hear kids shrieking somewhere upstairs. Like Lopez herself, the office is both masculine and feminine. There are wood-paneled walls and wingback chairs, a killer sound system, and a fur throw draped over a sofa. There’s a huge plaque (30 MILLION ALBUMS SOLD WORLD-WIDE); a ledge full of various film- and music-industry awards; and on her desk, nude shots of J.Lo for the advertising campaign for her forthcoming perfume, Glowing (the sample fragrance bottle actually lights up). A quick glance at the shelves reveals a taste for the classics (The Grapes of Wrath, Shakespeare); memoir (Arthur Miller’sTimebends); and self-help (Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages). On the glass coffee table there is a big, lush book on Pucci, which somehow seems perfect."
"Venus Rising", a profile of Jennifer Lopez by Jonathan Van Meter, in the April 2012 Vogue
I just wanted to prove that not everything I put down is in New York, and also that not everything is a political or intellectual diatribe. I don't (generally) buy People or Us (though I admit a weakness for the sleazier Star) or other mags with fawning celbrity profiles... but Conde Nast can get me to read them anyway, posing as fashion (Vogue, GQ) or deep thought (Vanity Fair, which isn't). At this late date, I know what I'm in for: a quick tour of the Star's Lovely Home, a few bites of Our Star at a Meal, the old "they're just like us" anecdote, and another few thousand words about how, really, they're not (multiple divorces, million dollar lifestyles, blah blah blah). Sometimes they're interesting (Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron), even thoughtful (Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway)... but sometimes you can't even fake the necessary interest, which appears to be the case here. I kept putting this issue at the top of my pile, even after the new one came out, determined to read the Lopez piece all the way to the end. But I just couldn't do it; I'd get hung up on descriptions, like the one above, which illustrate both the absurdity of her wealth and the vapidness of the profiles like this (and, by extension, the vapid prose of writers like Van Meter). Then there's the fact that Lopez, still, is the odd kind of nondescript star only America can quite produce: she's not exactly good, her career is kind of middling, she's the third chair on a reality panel show whose recording career has been modestly succesful. Although she seemed a promising actress, that hasn't really worked out either. So why does she get Vogue covers? I mean, obviously, she's attractive, but that seems to be about it, and even there, there are more striking brunettes and women of Puerto Rican descent. So mostly, I've given up, the Vogue goes into my back issue pile, and I'll never know Jennifer's beauty secrets. Oh well. Life, I suppose, must go on.