Ben Affleck has really put the mess in #neckmess, per some jewelry-related Internet sleuthing I’ve been up to recently.
But, before I get into my findings, let’s back up and give some jewelry and watch context to the Jennifer Lopez-Ben Affleck recoupling that is peak early 2000s cultural nostalgia
Rekindled this year after Lopez’s break-up with baseball legend Alex Rodriguez, one of Bennifer 2.0’s predominant love languages, just like the first time around, seems to be giving gifts, particularly of the watch and jewelry variety, and there is major symbolism behind all of it.
Take, for instance, the dusting off of items from the vault.
These gestures mark the power couple’s return, but they pale in comparison to the jewelry moment that coincided with them going Instagram official a week ago.
While traipsing around the French and Italian coasts with her on-again beau on occasion of her 52nd birthday, Lopez posted a carousel of Instagram pictures of herself on a yacht bejeweled in an impressive Foundrae #neckmess
. In the last image she can be seen kissing Affleck, a coy confirmation of their relationship.
It turned out the layered Foundrae necklaces were a birthday present from Affleck to the star, featuring initials spelling “BEN,” lots of symbolic medallions Affleck chose personally based on their attendant meanings, and a key.
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The gift was exceedingly sentimental, with Foundrae co-founder and Creative Director Beth Bugdaycay explaining to me that selecting specific charms, “is highly personal and about what speaks to you at that particular moment in your life.”
She noted that the large gold key included in J. Lo’s array represents love. One of the medallions, she told E! News
, represents resilience.
She told the entertainment news outlet, “With the custom piece Ben created for Jennifer, it clearly communicated their love, but it’s also a reminder of their capacity for change and growth.”
The internet went wild at the public relationship declaration via the elaborate jewelry gift (estimated cost: about $45,000
) but I found myself scratching my head.
That’s because I specifically recalled seeing actress and recent Affleck ex Ana de Armas sporting a beautiful Foundrae necklace in an Instagram picture and, unlike useful information I should remember such as flight times or where I’ve left my keys, this is the kind of thing I don’t forget, particularly as I’ve pined for my own piece of Foundrae for years.
Now this is where things start to feel a little nefarious or, at the very least, slightly odd.
I remembered seeing a beaming de Armas wearing two layered medallions and an “A” initial charm on a heavy chain, all from Foundrae, in honor of her 32nd birthday last year.
And, just like J. Lo’s recent IG post, buried in a carousel of photos were pictures of de Armas and Affleck together
It was their Instagram debut, too.
Foundrae was unable to comment on the specifics of Affleck’s shopping habits—meaning whether he’s bought from the brand before or not—but this can only mean there are one of two scenarios at play.
Either Foundrae is Affleck’s go-to gift for significant others, or de Armas is responsible for introducing him to the brand.
While there is an ick factor to both options, the second is downright treasonous to a jewelry lover, which de Armas appears to be.
De Armas has shared more pictures of herself wearing other Foundrae pieces on Instagram, post-Affleck break-up, some as recently as six weeks ago. This and the fact that she wore her own initial, rather than her ex-boyfriend’s name, leads me to hypothesize she might have indeed been a native Foundrae fan and introduced Affleck to the company.
This is the equivalent of introducing an ex to your favorite restaurant, breaking up, then seeing him there with his new girlfriend every time you’re in the mood for Peruvian food. It’s a violation of post-break-up civility.
In another world, de Armas might never know that her ex-boyfriend gifted her favorite accessory to his new girlfriend, marked in eerily similar Instagram posts. But in this world, that new girlfriend is J. Lo and she has 168 million Instagram followers.
If I were de Armas, I’d double down and purchase the most extravagant custom Foundrae piece I could imagine to reward myself for surviving this symbolic and deeply personal jewelry betrayal.
Here’s hoping she doesn’t retire her pieces to the back of the jewelry box, which is where J. Lo’s “Alex” earrings
now undoubtedly reside.