“It would be kind of like LeBron James endorsing a pair of basketball shoes,” he added.
Men attaching themselves to beautiful women to bask in their glow is nothing new, Ms. McDonnell said.
But Ms. Lopez is different because she is at least as powerful as Mr. Affleck, if not more so, in terms of cultural and economic capital; she is worth an estimated $400 million and is the 56th highest paid celebrity in the world, according to Forbes. And it was Ms. Lopez, with her 168 million Instagram followers compared with Mr. Affleck’s five million, who posted the big relationship reveal.
“So she’s the one putting her romance out there and having agency over her self-presentation,” Ms. McDonnell said. “Though Affleck may of course benefit from it.”
As for Ms. Stause and Mr. Oppenheim? The correlation is murkier, Ms. McDonnell said, because Mr. Oppenheim is her boss.
“So while Jason may benefit from a similar kind of ‘glow-up’ that J-Lo seems to have conferred on Ben, the power dynamics are more aligned with established gender norms,” Ms. McDonnell said.
Can the positive effects of dating someone as superhuman as Ms. Lopez last after a breakup?
“How long someone stays desirable for — how long the ‘glow-up’ lasts — is unclear,” Mr. Anderson said. “What we do know is that someone who is romantically desirable now is generally more highly valued than someone who was romantically desirable previously.”
Don’t tell A-Rod!