What a difference a year makes: In 2010, Jennifer Lopez was making headlines for the critically reviled catsuit she wore while celebrating New Year’s, just months after she fell onstage at the American Music Awards while singing “Louboutins.” But now, thanks to her judging stint on American Idol, Lopez has reinvented herself as a media and audience darling after proving to be kind, attentive, and, yes, extremely shiny (The sequins! The eyeshadow!) on the Fox reality TV show. So, in turn, People has named the multi-hyphenate 2011′s Most Beautiful Person.
In the issue — which also includes celebrities like Mila Kunis, Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Hudson, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Lawrence, and The Office stars Mindy Kaling and Ellie Kemper — Lopez talks about how she survives life in front of unforgiving HD cameras. And according to the Idol judge, it’s not easy: Lopez follows a portion-controlled diet and even ran a triathlon just months after giving birth to 3-year-old twins Emme and Max. “The thing is, it’s part of my job,” she tells People. “I don’t want anybody thinking it’s easy.” More nuggets from Lopez: Both her son and daughter enjoy painting their nails and she didn’t mind her former “diva” label — as long as fans knew she was still Jenny from the Block. “I kind of like it,” she says. “We’ve kind of owned it now. But I certainly don’t like and I’ve never been a person who has what they call ‘diva behavior,’ which is something they tried to pin on me for a long time.”
Check out a sneak peek of People‘s Most Beautiful issue here. A fan and cup of cold water required.