This summer, following a slapdash Vegas ceremony, J.Lo legally changed her last name, signing off on a wedding edition of her On the JLo newsletter as “Mrs. Jennifer Lynn Affleck.” One of the most famous women on Earth taking her husband’s name inspired many opinions, including a New York Times op-ed that likened marital name-changing to “submission” and called Lopez’s decision “especially dispiriting” during a “fraught moment for feminism in America.” But it doesn’t sound as though J.Lo is too bothered by the criticism. For Vogue’s December cover (which, for what it’s worth, refers to her as “Jennifer Lopez”), the singer-actor clarified, “People are still going to call me Jennifer Lopez. But my legal name will be Mrs. Affleck because we’re joined together. We’re husband and wife. I’m proud of that. I don’t think that’s a problem.”
When asked whether she’d want Affleck to be called “Mr. Lopez” instead, Lopez said no. “It’s not traditional. It doesn’t have any romance to it,” she said, explaining that “Mr. Lopez” would feel like exercising a “power move” when she already feels “empowered as a woman.” Although she understands “people have their feelings” about wives assuming their husbands’ last names, she thinks it’s romantic. “It still carries tradition and romance to me, and maybe I’m just that kind of girl.”
Lopez also got candid about the racist tabloid scrutiny she endured when she first dated Affleck in the aughts. “There was a lot underneath the surface there, people not wanting us to be together, people thinking I wasn’t the right person for him,” she said. Reflecting on their early relationship, Lopez recalled being “of the mind that I could say or do anything,” adding, “I was from the Bronx, and who didn’t say what they thought there?” But after multiple racist and classist headlines, South Park parodies, and a skit in which late-night host Conan O’Brien told his audience the show’s “cleaning lady” would portray J.Lo in a sketch, she pulled back. “I became very guarded because I realized that they will fillet you,” she said of the press. “I really wish I could say more. I used to be like that. I am like that. But I’ve also learned.” To which I say, let Mr. and Mrs. Affleck grab their Dunkin’ in peace.