Opinion | Ben Affleck and J.Lo are teaching a master class in controlling your narrative

Opinion | Ani Bundel: Ben Affleck and J.Lo are teaching a master class in controlling your narrative. @NBCNewsTHINK

8/2/2021 10:23:00 AM

Opinion | Ani Bundel: Ben Affleck and J.Lo are teaching a master class in controlling your narrative. NBCNewsTHINK

Almost 20 years later, the couple are reigniting their relationship — and teaching a master class in how to control your narrative.

The casual observer might find the pose oddly familiar — because it is. The"candid" shot is a real-life recreation of a moment that went viral (before such a thing existed) in the early months of their (first) relationship. It's an extraordinarily clever moment that speaks to the changed nature of celebrity. The top photo, the one from 2002, isn't actually a paparazzo pic; it's a screenshot from the 2002 MTV video for Lopez's single"

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Jenny From the Block," released in September of that year. The entire video is a tongue-in-cheek take on celebrity life, full of staged"paparazzi" videos showing the two in private moments as the world spied on them. The video took control of the message: Lopez knew we wanted to watch her life, and she was giving us what we wanted while also poking fun at our obsession. And she was doing it using the medium that was most dominant still in the pre-broadband, pre-social media, pre-YouTube era.

The new photo turned up on the celebrity website TMZ and was almost immediately disseminated via social media — the way celebrities craft and control the narrative today. The two look a little older, but they are clearly still living that life you wish you had — and want to watch. It's a heady mix of nostalgia, romance and voyeurism. It allows us all to hope for a better tomorrow, one in which love — or at least really nice pictures of an idealized relationship — can survive despite everything that's happened in the last two decades. headtopics.com

The rise of the internet, the polarization of our culture, the Great Recession and the coronavirus pandemic — we've weathered it all, and so have J.Lo and Affleck. Now they're back on that boat, stronger than ever, and ready for that happily ever after.

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THINK They are qualified how? Whatever THINK Just skip the 'big wedding' and elope to Vegas. Too much pressure THINK All the important events happening in the world and you write about this? How about you write about something important. THINK Psychotic article THINK Seriously, was over them the first time around...don’t care !! 🙄🙄

THINK She’s a sad story THINK F that ish I’m not taking marriage advice from either of them thoba they both are in tons of pain and using each other to get through it. Rebound. THINK What's next: Ani will write an apologist's column defending the cinematic merits of Gigli retroactively by two decades? THINK Can't we just be happy for them?🤷‍♀️

THINK Let’s see JLO has done PUFF DADDY …. A coke head MARK ANTHONY … a coke master A WAITER ! … who also sold drugs A ROD … a known dopping athlete And now BEN ! A gambler Her vagina is an open bar 😀 THINK Batman looks so happy. I think he never stopped loving her.

Jennifer Lopez Wears 'BEN' Necklace Again as Romance with Ben Affleck Continues to Heat UpJennifer Lopez was seen wearing her special 'BEN' necklace once again Saturday while touring around Portofino, Italy, alone

THINK With a little help from all the unnecessary free publicity THINK

Matt Damon Has Been Texting Ben Affleck During His Vacation with J.Lo, LolMATTHEW!

How Jennifer Garner Feels About Her Ex Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Serious’ RelationshipJ.Lo and Ben “both really feel like this is it” and that “they were undeniably made for each other,” a source said. Who cares? Bet Ben and Jen don't. And neither do we!! I'd be concerned about his sobriety. a summary of 'J-Lo' ... .... .. ... ... .. ... .

Jennifer Lopez Is Now Wearing the Harry Winston Bracelet Ben Affleck Gave Her 19 Years AgoWhile on their European yacht vacation, Jennifer Lopez appears to be wearing the diamond bracelet that fans recognize as the one Lopez got from Affleck 19 years ago. Elle do better. No one cares about a washed up alcoholic and a build a bear wh00re.

J Lo Solo in Portofino with Necklace Bearing Ben Affleck's NameJennifer Lopez is always in the presence of her BF, Ben Affleck, even if he's not physically there ... because he always hanging around ... her neck! ben👀as in💨💨ben👀there😂before💨💨😜 🤦🏻‍♀️ 😂BEN

J Lo & Ben Kiss on a Dock in Naples ItalyJennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck continued their '2021 We're Super in Love' tour Saturday, as they packed on the PDA along the Mediterranean. i don’t care Who cares!!!! im jelousous