Aw I have so much JLove for JLO…JLo and I go back a long way. I discovered her at uni, 9 years ago, when along with everyone else I fell for her captivating curves, sun kissed hair, striking Latino looks and feel good booty shaking, ‘I love life’ kinda tracks. JLo was my ultimate girl crush. It was even funnier that a large group of guys at Goldsmiths’ Uni. of London, where I studied, renamed me JLo.
I was totally flattered! I’m mean she’s Puerto Rican, I’m Greek (near enough), I worked the blond highlights in those days, had the olive skin and most importantly the umm derrier (I still have it thank you very much!) And since then our lives have been pratically the same…
JLo lived in LA, recorded hit albums, drove fast cars, had rap star boyfriends (P Diddy), film star fiances (Ben Affleck) but always ‘kept it real’, she was just Jenny from the Block, although now reportably wearing huge rocks (who wasn’t jealous of her pink diamond from when she was one half of Bennifer and why didn’t she marry him?)
I went and did an MA in filmmaking, lived in Kennington (like Kensington but with the stabbings), made a short film Rifts about warring kebab shop owners then started life as a tea girl at a major film company. Ok my career moved quickly, I won some awards, I developed a documentary about another famous singer, Macy Gray for said company and it wasn’t too long, in fact it was probably before Jen that I met my own rap star.
OK he wasn’t a rap star, he was an IT graduate but he was gorgeous, made me laugh and bought me a nice rock of my own. It wasn’t pink or 6 carats but it was good enough for ‘Vicki from the block’. Although it has recently been upgraded to a larger rock (Jen would be proud). Then before I knew it, I was living in Notting Hill, then West Hampstead before buying in Barnes, the small and very much desired village by Richmond Park. Think the Hamptons in London sweetie.
Oh and my second short film Broken was screening at a film festival in LA ‘The LA Harbour International FF’ where it even picked up a prize and thanks to my friend Em, enabled me to see a very Hollywood side to La la land! A stay at the Standard Hotel, dinner at Chateau Marmont… OOh things were looking up!
So what about poor Jen, after getting into the wrong crowd “musicians are the worst” is a lyric on her new album, marrying a few more times (well it’s hard to resist backing dancers isn’t it poor Love), she made some duff movies (Maid in Manhattan anyone?), met Marc Anthony, got married again and had twins, a boy and a girl. Then she kinda disappeared. I understood it though. I did myself when my little one came along. I needed and wanted to and sadly I didn’t have the nannies to boot. I did have a cleaner though, does that count?
And right now, just when I’m back to my old self again, working hard, having to pinch myself at some of the career opportunities coming my way at the moment, where I am developing my original idea of Rifts for BBC Comedy and writing my feature film, Jen is making her own comeback- releasing her sexy new album Jlove, releasing a dance hit number 1 ‘Get on the Floor’ sampling The Lambada and judging American Idol. I play her songs on repeat in the car, little O in the back shaking it, legs and arms rhythmically moving to the beat (he takes after me), husband trying hard not to throw himself out of said vehicle. (He’s into Rock).
You see when I play her new album it takes me right back to that girl, aged 19, free, full of energy, passion and fun, dancing at the uni’s Student Night on a Wednesday or driving through the streets of New Cross, the window down, friends in the back- but now, this time it’s even better-as I sing along to Jlo at the top of my voice, I know I’ve got the best things in life right here with me.
Like JLo I’m not that young girl anymore. I’m a mother now, an adult. But like good ol’ Jen I still like my rocks and boy can I shake my booty. Some things never change- “cause I’m still, I’m still, Vicki from the block”. *
*This was not a sponsored post but JLo has kindly leant me her nanny for a week as a thank you so I can party! She’s good like that. Also a small disclaimer: I was never really from the block, but a lovely and pretty Posh area in Leeds- but you get the picture. Over and out.
Photograph ©Vicki Psarias-Broadbent.