Mark Sagliocco—Getty Images
By Dave Quinn / People
June 10, 2016

While at an event in Los Angeles on Thursday in support for her hit NBC series Shades of Blue, Jennifer Lopez told fans about the body shaming she experienced during her early days in Hollywood.

“They kept telling me to lose weight,” Lopez recalled, according to E!. “And I was a dancer and I was athletic and even my manager at the time, who I no longer work with, was telling me, ‘You need to lose weight. You need to be thinner.’ ”

“I was like, ‘No I don’t. If I lose any more weight it won’t be me.’ You know what I mean?,” Lopez, 46, added.

Lopez was inspired to tell the story when a fan said the “Ain’t Your Mama” singer’s famous curves inspired her to stop wearing sweatshirts around her waist.

“It was definitely a fight, and so it’s good to hear that it helped anybody in some way,” Lopez said, thanking the fan for her openness. “At the end of the day I was just trying to be myself without trying to fit into a mold of what everybody else should be.”

J. Lo went on to say that she’s glad Hollywood’s evolved.

“It’s a different time now, which is awesome to see for me where it is about our differences. It’s about all the diversity. It’s just a more accepting time of everything, whether it’s body type or race or gender. We’ve come a long way,” she said.

Lopez also told PEOPLE editorial director Jess Cagle what she’s learned to love about herself over the years: “That I’m flawed,” she said. “I actually love that part now … I used to hate it because I’m such a perfectionist.”

This article originally appeared on

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