Over the weekend, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck took the next step in their rekindled romance: They took all five of their children out for excursions around Hollywood, signaling that the seemingly delicate process of blending their two families is well underway.
As fans wonder if Lopez and Affleck next will move in together, or even announce plans to marry, they can also ask if and when the social media-savvy Lopez will start sharing photos of them with all their kids together in portraits of a happy blended family.
During the four years Lopez dated ex-fiance Alex Rodriguez, she regularly shared photos of her 13-year-old twins, Max and Emme, with A-Rod’s daughters. Will Affleck be so willing to let his children be publicized in this way?
To the extent they can be, Affleck and his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, always have been protective about the privacy of their children: Violet, 15, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 9. Garner has conceded in interviews that there is little she and Affleck can do to stop the paparazzi from following them around when they are out with their children in and around Los Angeles, but Affleck and Garner also have shown themselves to be parents who are very guarded about social media, only rarely sharing photos of their children if their faces can be obscured.
Lopez clearly has a different social media policy when it comes to sharing images of her children, and in general to how she handles fame. Of course, she’s very strategic in controlling what she shares, but it’s clear she likes to present images of her family life that support a public narrative that she wants to build about herself
While dating Rodriguez, she seemed very keen on presenting herself as the loving, maternal figure in a happy blended family — a 21st century mega-star version of Carol Brady.
The singer and “Hustlers” star regularly shared carefully stage-managed photos of her and Rodriguez with Max and Emme, and with the MLB star’s daughters, Ella and Natasha. Notably, there were photos of Max, Emme and Rodriguez’s daughters decorating a family Christmas tree, celebrating Thanksgiving or trying to have fun at their Miami estate during pandemic lockdown.
For now, only the tabloids are capturing images of Lopez’s family togetherness with Affleck and his children. Photos over the weekend showed Affleck, Lopez, Affleck’s mother and their five children taking in a magic show at the Magic Castle on Saturday night, E! News, TMZ and other outlets reported.
— JLo Gallery (@jlogallery) August 22, 2021
“Since Jennifer and Ben are in it for the long run, it’s just a natural step that they all spend time together with the kids,” a source told People.
“They are not trying to rush anything, but they want all the kids to get to know each other,” the insider added. “They are making the last few days of summer as fun as they can. Soon it’s back to school and work.”
Photos also showed an unguarded moment between Lopez and Max outside the Magic Castle. It appeared to be a disciplinary moment between the mother and son, Yahoo reported. Photos showed Lopez and Max by their car as she furrowed her eyebrows, pointed her finger and scolded him about something unclear.
Lopez pointed her finger and appeared to scold son Max, 13, as she and Ben Affleck took their blended family to the Magic Castle in LA on Saturday
The two appeared to have a conversation that led JLo to have a beyond smitten look on her face pic.twitter.com/zpkbrYiA3X
— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) August 23, 2021
The night before, the group, minus Samuel, attended a performance of the Broadway musical “Hamilton” at the Pantages Theatre. Earlier in the day, Affleck treated all three of his kids to a trip to the Century City shopping mall.
Lopez and Affleck made their relationship “Instagram official” when she shared a photo of him kissing her while hanging out on a yacht in the Mediterranean. There’s also talk that they might make their red-carpet debut as a couple at the glittery Met Gala, which was moved from May to Sept. 14, Page Six reported. Before the pandemic, Lopez rarely missed the gala, known as the biggest night of the year for fashion, and attended the event twice with Rodriguez.
Affleck and Lopez’s public display of family togetherness last weekend comes about a week after she deleted most Instagram photos of herself and Rodriguez, People reported. The photos included the famous image of him proposing marriage at sunset on a beach in the Bahamas in 2019, and others of the two together at President Joe Biden’s inauguration. However, Rodriguez still appears in a some family tributes, as do his daughters Ella and Natasha.
When Affleck rekindled his legendary romance with Lopez in May, Garner was reportedly concerned about the exploding media frenzy around them and its impact on their children. Affleck and Lopez were one of Hollywood’s top celebrity couples, known as “Bennifer,” when they dated from 2002 to 2004.
“The last thing (Garner) wants to be doing is be dealing with Ben’s love life,” a source told E! News in May. “Her focus is always on the kids’ happiness and Ben being a good father.” The source added that Garner “doesn’t want to be part of the circus or media attention in any way.”