The 40-year-old singer/dancer/actress/designer stuns on the Tom Munro-shot cover, while working the ubiquitous cut-out trend in a barely-there black Gucci dress (sans bra).
Elle's inside fashion spread, styled by Joe Zee, features a smoldering Lopez showing off her famous curves with the help of leather short-shorts by Alexander Wang, an hourglass-hugging dress by Gucci, as well as pieces from Rag & Bone, Prada and Moschino.
The mega-star tells Elle that despite the fact that she's now competing with the Beyoncés and Rihannas of the world, her plan is to keep doing her J.Lo thing, and even harder.
"This is what I do -- what, because I have kids and a husband now I'm not supposed to be me?" she says. "I'm a more heightened me if anything. Hyper J.Lo. Everything I wanted before, I want twice as much now.
And that doesn't mean material things; it means to explore more, to think more. Being an artist doesn't start because you're 21, and it doesn't end because you're 51. You are who you are until the day you die."
The former 'fly girl' also defends the romantic comedies she makes, saying, "I think 'Maid in Manhattan' and 'Monster-in-Law' are very layered movies. People don't like sh---y romantic comedies. Nothing that's sh---y is going to make $100 million."
"When it comes to family and relationships, I'm quite traditional," she tells Elle. "Just because of the way I was raised. And I also believe in God and I have a lot of faith in that, so I just felt like you don't mess with things like that."
"And I guess deep down I really felt like either this is not going to happen for me or it is," says Lopez. "You know what I mean? And if it is, it will. And if it's not, it's not going to."
To read more of the Lopez interview, where she talks about being cheated on and her kinship with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, head over to Elle.com and pick up the February issue, on newsstands January 13.
Leave a comment with your thoughts on J.Lo's Elle photos.
For a February issue that features no clothing at all, check out this controversial magazine cover. (And the debate isn't over the nudity.)