I was going to put both of Elle’s February covers into one post, but then the magazine was madly generous sending out assets from both. Two posts for the price of one is a win as far as I’m concerned — doubly so when we get quintuple the J.Lo.

Interestingly, as these two covers go, J.Lo is the opposite of Maluma in terms of longevity and exposure. I haven’t seen a Maluma cover before, that I know of; I had next to no knowledge of him until I read the Elle profile, so there was a lot to learn as a reader. Conversely, I have seen dozens of J.Lo covers. I’ve read all the profiles. She’s the feature star of SOMETHING on newsstands all the freaking time. How much more can there be to say? And yet somehow, she gets me every time. I’m not tired of it. We’ve seen a lot of phases of J.Lo over the years, and yet the more she lets us in, the more I like her. She’s extremely charismatic in movies, even when they themselves are terrible. She was charming on American Idol. She’ll casually chill out at a baseball game when A-Rod is working. She’s what Derek Zoolander would call ridiculously good-looking. She lives to enthrall, and delivers, even under pandemic circumstances. (Also, please never forget this.) And above all, she not only seems to delight in her kids and her blended family, but has raised them well:

This past summer also found Lopez and Rodriguez taking part in a Black Lives Matter protest. She worked with Emme and Max to make signs for the Los Angeles event they attended in early June, spurred in part by Max’s realization that his mother had a big social media following, “like some of [his] YouTuber gamers.

“He wanted me to make sure I realized that I had power and that I should use it, and I thought that was very insightful. It was one of those parenting moments when you’re like, Oh, maybe I’m raising a conscientious, kind, loving kid here,” she says. 

There’s something neat about her son speaking up and reminding her of the power of her own platform. Also, warning: The article discusses J.Lo’s new beauty line, and every time I look at photos of her, I’m basically ready to hand over my Amex.

[Photos: Micaiah Carter for Elle, styled by Alex White; the issue hits stands on Feb. 2]