“They kept telling me to lose weight,” Lopez recalled, according to E!. “And I was a dancer and I was athletic and even my manager at the time, who I no longer work with, was telling me, ‘You need to lose weight. You need to be thinner.’ ”
“I was like, ‘No I don’t. If I lose any more weight it won’t be me.’ You know what I mean?,” Lopez, 46, added.
Lopez was inspired to tell the story when a fan said the “Ain’t Your Mama” singer’s famous curves inspired her to stop wearing sweatshirts around her waist.
“It was definitely a fight, and so it’s good to hear that it helped anybody in some way,” Lopez said, thanking the fan for her openness. “At the end of the day I was just trying to be myself without trying to fit into a mold of what everybody else should be.”
J. Lo went on to say that she’s glad Hollywood’s evolved.
“It’s a different time now, which is awesome to see for me where it is about our differences. It’s about all the diversity. It’s just a more accepting time of everything, whether it’s body type or race or gender. We’ve come a long way,” she said.
Lopez also told PEOPLE editorial director Jess Cagle what she’s learned to love about herself over the years: “That I’m flawed,” she said. “I actually love that part now … I used to hate it because I’m such a perfectionist.”