With her lips snarling seductively and one hand placed confidently on her hip while the other paws at her ponytail, the catlike 41-year-old embodies the very words she purrs in her interview: "That tiger," she says of herself, "is still in there."
Inside the magazine, Lopez further unleashes her animal instinct in a series of sultry poses for photographer Ellen Von Unwerth.
In one, she gives a naughty sideways glance as she enters a room in a cheetah-print Patricia Underwood hat, cheetah-print Rochas coat and bag, and a brown bustier-style Giles dress.
In another, the Bronx native wears her hair in a full lion's mane, leaning toward a house of cards as if she's about to pounce in her lacy Dolce & Gabbana bodysuit and full black Prada skirt.
Cheetah-print Christian Louboutin flats rest at her side.
If you think these are the kinds of uber-glam outfits a diva like J.Lo wears as she whips up traditional Puerto Rican dishes for hubby Marc Anthony and chases her 2-year-old twins Max and Emme around the house... well, you wouldn't be far off.
But getting into that slinky dress does take work, admits Lopez, who found it challenging to lose her pregnancy pounds.
"I did the triathlon six months after the babies were born, and part of that was about giving myself a goal. Maybe it was an emotional thing: Like, that tiger's still in there," explains the singer/actress/entrepreneur.
"But it takes a year [after pregnancy]. You're not going to get slim in six weeks. For me, it's been back and forth. Now, two years later, I feel really back to normal."
Yeah, but would she do another triathlon? "I would if I didn't have to swim in the ocean. That really scared me!" says Lopez. "If it were in a pool, I'd do it again in a minute."
In other diva news, read about Lady Gaga going nude for Vanity Fair.