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Jennifer Lopez's Latest Revelation About Madonna & Britney's VMAs Kiss Doesn’t Change The Harmful History Of The 'Iconic' Moment

Photo: Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock / YouTube
Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Madonna

Jennifer Lopez is known for her fair share of pop culture moments that will go down in history — who could forget the green dress?

But it turns out she could have another one of those moments under her belt if she had played her cards right.

In a recent interview with E! News to promote her new movie "Shotgun Wedding," Lopez revealed that she was originally asked to be a part of Madonna and Britney Spears’ iconic moment at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.

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Jennifer Lopez was originally approached by Madonna to be part of her VMA kiss with Britney Spears.

Lopez claimed that she had to turn down the opportunity to join the performance due to other professional obligations.

Fans will remember the infamous moment in pop culture history when Madonna kissed both Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera during a performance of “Like a Virgin.”

In an homage to Madonna’s 1980s style, Britney and Christina wore mini bridal dresses, pearl necklaces, and fingerless lace gloves during the duet.

Madonna wore a tuxedo, emerging from a giant wedding cake to sing her single “Hollywood.”

According to Lopez, she was actually the first choice to join Britney and Madonna’s VMA kiss.

"I was filming a movie in Canada, and we had met—me, her, and Britney—to do it at her home," Lopez told E! News. "And then, I just couldn't get off the film, and so, we couldn't do it."

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"We had talked about it," Lopez continued, regarding her role in the kiss. "I love Madonna. I'm a huge fan. I always have been."

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When Lopez declined, her position in the performance was filled by Christina Aguilera, who Madonna also kissed.

More media focus was given to Britney and Madonna’s kiss than the kiss between Christina and Madonna.

When Madonna kissed Britney, the camera panned to Justin Timberlake, which meant that Christina’s kiss was cut off for at-home viewers.

Christina told Andy Cohen in a 2018 interview that “it was weird. They cut away to get Justin’s reaction.”

Speaking to that moment, Christina stated “it was a cheap shot… I definitely saw the newspaper that next day, and it was like ‘Oh well, I guess I got left out of that one.’”

The early aughts were a particularly rough time for queer representation in mainstream media.

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It’s no surprise that a kiss between the three famous women made major publicity waves.

But looking back on the kiss 20 years later, it’s clear that the stunt was just that– a stunt staged to pique viewers’ interest.

Even the focus on Timberlake’s reaction to the kiss is a sign of the inherent misogyny and homophobia of the situation, as though the kiss itself wasn’t as important as a man’s response to it.

This message reinforced the supposed importance of the male gaze, instead of the value of the kiss between the three female superstars. 

Were the kiss to occur now, the stars would likely be accused of queerbaiting, and using queerness for publicity’s sake.

While there’s always more work to do around inclusivity and representation, it’s good to know we’ve come a long way from straight people appropriating queerness for their own benefit.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.

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