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Back off Jenny from the Block: TikTokers need to stop using Jennifer Lopez for cheap cred

The TikTok generation wants to evict Jennifer Lopez from the block.

Last week, social media users took issue with a clip from her film “This Is Me … Now: A Love Story,” when she takes her hair down and says, “It reminds me like, when I was 16 in The Bronx running up and down the block.”

The Castle Hill native turned Tinseltown superstar was mocked for using the borough for relatability points — working-class stolen valor.

Then a clip surfaced from Lopez’s 2022 interview for Vogue’s “73 Questions” video series in which she reveals her go-to bodega order: ham and cheese on a roll, a small bag of chips and an orange drink.

She added of the mysterious drink, “If you know, you know.” TikTok users said they did not.

I admit, I don’t either. Bodegas and convenience stores used to hawk some dodgy food and drinks, so it could have been any number of suspicious carrot-colored concoctions.

In the ’80s and early ’90s — likely the last time Lopez crossed the threshold of a dingy ol’ neighborhood bodega — offerings were less varied and way more simple. This was before sandwiches were made for social media, with a pile of ingredients higher than the sky, and there was no arsenal of fancy snacks and beverage brands.

In a 2022 interview, Lopez said that her go-to bodega order was a ham and cheese, a small bag of chips and an orange drink — adding about the unspecified drink, “If you know, you know.'” Many didn’t. TikTok / @whoisadiv
In a 2022 interview, Lopez said that her go-to bodega order was a ham and cheese, a small bag of chips and an orange drink — adding about the unspecified drink, “If you know, you know.'” Many didn’t. TikTok / @whoisadiv
In her new movie “This Is Me … Now: A Love Story,” Jennifer Lopez takes her hair down and said it reminds her of her youth in The Bronx. She was criticized on TikTok for using the borough for relatability points. TikTok/@primevideo
In her new movie “This Is Me … Now: A Love Story,” Jennifer Lopez takes her hair down and said it reminds her of her youth in The Bronx. She was criticized on TikTok for using the borough for relatability points. TikTok/@primevideo

Instead, we had littleplastic containers of liquid in every color in the rainbow. You poked a hole in one with a straw, drank it up and got Type 2 diabetes on contact.

And there weren’t always labels on the drinks, so you had no idea if they were made in somebody’s home kitchen or a proper factory.

This was the era before safety-ism, food allergies and labels. Likely decades before some of these J. Lodoubters were even born. So much for respecting lived experiences.

A TikToker named Alex Duncan blasted Lopez for her bodega order, saying, “The Bronx and the hood are tired.” TikTok / @whoisadiv
A TikToker named Alex Duncan blasted Lopez for her bodega order, saying, “The Bronx and the hood are tired.” TikTok / @whoisadiv

A few intrepid TikTokkers actually copied her order and liked it. Others criticized the singer for not being specific enough about sandwich toppings. Their verdict: She’s too Beverly Hills now to have an opinion.

Oh mama, don’t make me defend J. Lo.

But this type of stupidity and lack of curiosity is extremely typical of the TikTok generation, some of whom act as if history began the minute they shot from their mom’s birth canal. They deliver news of their “discoveries” and life lessons to the camera with such self-importance — like they stumbled upon the cure for cancer when, in reality, they were merely fashioning a hashtag.

In one video, a TikTokker called Alex Duncan said the “Bronx and the hood are tired.” He whinged that Lopez is worth $400 million dollars now. I remember when that was called a home-grown success story.

The Post ordered J. Lo’s favorite sandwich at a local bodega — and this is what it looked like. Tamara Beckwith
The Post ordered J. Lo’s favorite sandwich at a local bodega — and this is what it looked like. Tamara Beckwith
Jennifer Lopez grew up in this modest home in The Bronx. Christian Johnston
Jennifer Lopez grew up in this modest home in The Bronx. Christian Johnston

It’s true that Lopez has spent the last two decades living in fancy LA enclaves and carrying Birkin bags bigger than minivans. Indeed, she is, as Duncan said, worth hundreds of millions.

But how did she amass such wealth?

Well kids, there used to be this thing called striving. You worked your tail off, you had grit, you moved up and moved out. You made it. And yes, J. Lo, has it made it, my friends.

Fan or not, give her some credit. The odds of Lopez going from working-class Catholic school girl from The Bronx to Fly Girl on “In Living Color,” and then to Grammy winner and Hollywood A-Lister, were extremely slim.

Jennifer Lopez flaunted her A-list status at the 81st Golden Globe Awards in January. Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images
Jennifer Lopez flaunted her A-list status at the 81st Golden Globe Awards in January. Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images

Perhaps that trajectory is tough for theTikTokkeratti to understand — they see folks gain fame overnight from one viral video. For many, the concept of pounding the pavement is foreign.

In fact, one TikTok user blasted Lopez in a video filmed while still in bed: “JLO, we did not run up and down the block looking like that. Even as a kid.”

These complainers don’t even get off the mattress, never mind running the block.

The Bronx is not some narrow monoculture. It’s diverse in so many ways. And, like much of New York City, it has changed rapidly from when Lopez grew up.

Jennifer Lopez showed up for the premiere of her movie, “This Is Me… Now: A Love Story” at AMC Bay Plaza Cinema in her home borough of the Bronx. MediaPunch/Shutterstock
Jennifer Lopez showed up for the premiere of her movie, “This Is Me… Now: A Love Story” at AMC Bay Plaza Cinema in her home borough of the Bronx. MediaPunch/Shutterstock

A 54-year-old’s cultural experience is going to differ greatly from a young person who has a computer in their pocketin 2024.

Also: Lopez doesn’t need them. They need her to get clicks and engagement.

Invoking a childhood memory or two, especially a ham and cheese sandwich and tooth-decaying orange drink, is not a high crime. They should save that scorn for when they finally discover “Gigli.”