I am sure this should be an HOLA LOVERS post, but sometimes it’s good to just step back and look at something rather than try to parody it. J.Lo is the InStyle cover star for December’s issue, and while the front of the magazine has her very much in command in full-coverage cult robes, the photo getting all the attention — which is in the slideshow — is one in which she’s nude and barely draped in a piece of green glittery fabric, which has an even more saucy effect than her Grammys dress of yore.

InStyle didn’t put that on the cover, and I like that. Not because I’m clutching my pearls, though. I don’t have a problem with her showing off a body she’s carved for her entire career. And yeah, InStyle is benefiting from a lot of buzz about that photo being in the issue, period — and is pushing it on social media, as you’d expect — so it’s not like they necessarily sacrificed much by running it inside rather than outside. Laura Brown has definitely freshened up the magazine and with that may have come younger readers, but you still don’t want to alienate your base, so the decision to tuck it inside may have been from that perspective and no other. But it appeals to me that they didn’t plonk it on the front of the issue, and here’s why: Doing so feels like not making the entire THING about her nudity. Granted, J.Lo is a boss and totally in charge no matter what she’s wearing, even if said item is one of Liberace’s old curtains — but in the context of the article, and the way the magazine chose to present the spread, that’s just one photo. It’s not the sum of all things J.Lo; she isn’t reduced to that. It’s not the point of her, nor of the story. They’d be crazy not to drum up some buzz for the issue by posting the other pic on Instagram, but what they picked as the issue’s primary face for world is instead the exact opposite. She doesn’t have to be Naked J.Lo to be compelling, and they prove it with a cool, artsy, high-fashion and extremely unexpected image, one which she is owning even with all the loudness of the clothing. It’s neat.

The second thing I liked involves the story, which is a nice light read — nothing earth-shattering, but nothing embarrassing either. First I want to note that I laughed out loud at this part of the interview, and I imagine the quote’s speaker — J.Lo’s producing partner — uttering it with a wry twitch of the eyebrow or lip that perhaps went unnoticed. Here:

Goldsmith-Thomas has seen Lopez evolve a lot since the Bennifer era. Maid in Manhattan came out the same year as the “Jenny from the Block” video, a winking celebration of big boats and big money that Goldsmith-Thomas thought was ill-advised. (It preceded their bomb of a movie, Gigli.) “Jennifer and Ben were asking for it with that video,” Goldsmith-Thomas says. “I told her, ‘I’m selling you as a maid, and you guys are driving around in Bentleys?’ But now it’s 16 years later. I’m sure Ben Affleck is more mature too.”

MMM HMM.

But again, may I tell you the other choice I really enjoyed? She is not taken to task for being ambitious. Instead, she’s celebrated for it. This piece is, essentially, all about how hard J.Lo has worked to get where she is, and how hard she continues to work — and not once do they ask her to answer for that by explaining how her kids feel about it, or discuss how often she misses them, or how she can possibly juggle motherhood and career and still do either one well. That never comes up, and if she was asked, they didn’t include it. There is a brief mention of her FaceTiming her kids on the World of Dance set, but we glide right by it as observational color — more about the silly face she’s making — and nothing more. It is so great, and rare although hopefully slowly less so, to read an article about a career woman who is not also scolded for being hungry and driven, or from whom it demands a reckoning about what it does to her family life. Thanks, InStyle. I appreciate that.

[Photos: InStyle]