Jennifer Lopez recalls sexist jokes about her butt: 'It was hard when' people think 'you're a punchline'

In Jennifer Lopez's new Netflix documentary Halftime, the superstar gets personal about tabloid culture and body image.

Lopez reflects on the sexist coverage she endured in the late '90s and early aughts, specifically about her backside. Television hosts joked about the singer's butt and she regularly had to field questions about her body. One cringe-worthy interview with Billy Bush is shown.

"How do you feel about your butt?" Bush asked in 2002.

"Are you kidding me? You did not just ask me that," a shocked Lopez replied.

"I did," Bush added.

In Halftime, Lopez says she was always proud of her physique but admits the constant scrutiny got to her at times.

"I grew up around women with curves, so it was nothing ever I was ashamed of," she explains.

But Lopez's backside was a topic everywhere from South Park to the MTV Video Music Awards. When she wore that infamous green Versace dress in 2000, attention on her derrière only intensified.

"It was hard when you think people think you're a joke, like you're a punchline," she admits. "But I wound up affecting things in a way that I never intended to affect them."

Jennifer Lopez wears Versace to the 2000 Grammy Awards.
Jennifer Lopez wears Versace to the 2000 Grammy Awards. (Photo: WireImage)

Lopez — and that Versace dress — are why Google images was created. The singer originally donned the plunging gown while attending the Grammy awards with Diddy, which was just the beginning of a different kind of media firestorm.

The Hustlers star was a tabloid regular thanks to her high-profile relationships. Lopez, who's engaged to Ben Affleck (again), says in the documentary she almost quit over the brutal media coverage. She was called a "diva," "ambitious" and "Hollywood's best known serial bride," just to cherry pick a few headlines, despite having a red hot career.

"No matter what I achieved, their appetite to cover my personal life overshadowed everything that was happening in my career. I just had a very low self esteem," Lopez admits. "I really believed a lot of what they said, which was that I wasn't any good — I wasn't a good singer, I wasn't a good actress, I wasn't a good dancer, I wasn't good at anything. I just didn't even belong here why wouldn't I just go away."

Affleck makes his only appearance in the documentary to reflect on what he witnessed when they were first together from 2002 to 2004.

"I said to her once, 'Doesn't this bother you?' And she said, 'I'm Latina, I'm a woman I expected this.' You just don't expect it. You expect to be treated fairly," he recalls.

Lopez says there were "many times" she wanted to give up and quit.

"I had to really figure out who I was and believe in that and not believe anything else," she shares.

Halftime is out globally on Netflix today.