Feb 3, 2020

Thoughts on the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Let’s start by saying that I love football, but after going to a college basketball game recently, I may need to say that I love basketball more. BUT, we can talk about that another day. Today, the day after The Big Game, everyone is talking about Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. So hey, let’s talk about it.

First off, both women had amazing hair. AH-MAZ-ING. The costume changes left me thinking how’d she do that so fast? I can’t even put my shoes on in less than 30 seconds.

I loved that there were references made to the immigration crisis and showcased support for Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican people (who, by the way, are Americans. For those who seem to have forgotten.). The fact that the two women are Latino (with Colombian and Puerto Rican rappers added in) and were front and center on a Miami stage? Fantastic.

Now, on to the issue (issues??) that I see. Do you have to agree with me on this? Of course not, but here goes.

I LOVE SHAKIRA. She stands for so much good, especially for little ones. I heard her say in an interview once that her main love in life is education and children…that her music and record sales are simply a way to make money to pass on to these kids. (don’t quote me, I’m paraphrasing) Her performance is exactly what I was expecting. Shakira is a hip-shaker-belly-dancer (that’s a real term, dontcha know). If you didn’t know that beforehand, you missed it. Her dance was traditional belly dance infused with salsa, tango and other styles of Latin dance. Although some little parts were a bit over the top in my opinion, she nailed it.

And JLo? Eh…. now this is where I have a problem.

If you were watching, or if you want to watch just click here, you may have noticed, like me, that there were two distinct performances. We had Shakira’s more traditional belly dance-salsa-type-Colombian dance.

Then we had JLo. Listen. If I wanted my teens and preschooler to see Hustler’s, I would have bought a ticket.

And I didn’t.

So here are my questions: Why is it, that in 2020 and all of this crap about empowering women, are we STILL all about “sex sells”. I see all over my Facebook feed “Isn’t it great that she can flip around that pole at 50?” and “Absolutely wonderful for a woman her age to be able to move like that”.

Yes, she’s in shape. No, what she did to show that wasn’t necessary. Did she think they said “stripper pole” instead of “Super Bowl”?

I had someone respond to my “sex sells” comment and say “I didn’t like it because “sex sells”. I thought it was just entertainment.” Sure. A strip club is entertainment, too, but it doesn’t belong on prime time TV during a family-oriented show. There’s also the argument that “it’s not like kids/girls haven’t seen this before.” Um okay. Let’s put it all over a family-friendly show and ram it down their throats because “they’ve seen it before”…??

If Jennifer Lopez wants to empower women, how about she uses a different marketing model than grinding on the floor and grabbing her crotch while little girls and teens watch from their sofas at home? Have some dignity if you want to promote dignity.

I like this argument, too: What’s the big deal? She had on a fully nude-colored bodysuit and nobody could see her skin!! BUT THE IDEA OF A SKIN COLORED BODYSUIT IS THAT IT LOOKS JUST LIKE SKIN. So, although she was “not showing skin” she gives off the idea that she is and that leaves little to the imagination. More objectification of women that women are okay with.

It was during the nude-colored-body suit when she repeatedly grabs her crotch. Then slides, crotch first, to the camera. And did everyone overlook the pole dancing song being Waiting for Tonight, as she slid down, legs spread and surrounded by men? Is this what we are calling ‘amazing entertainment” and something for our “girls to look up to”?

And how about this? Somehow, women can easily swing between the positive body image movement and Her Body is Amazing Why Can’t I Look Like That mentality. And do it all in front of our kids. Where we TELL THEM they are worthy and beautiful, but what we really mean is THAT is worthy and beautiful. Disgusting. Thanks, Super Bowl for shoving the objectivity of women into our faces. I guess whoever is in charge doesn’t realize (or care, because again, sex sells it all) they’ve screwed up all that moms and dads have built up for years and years.

One step forward, 27 steps back.

And let us not forget that we saw Demi Lovato knock the house down with the national anthem. A woman who is standing in the public eye AND overcoming addiction. Not to mention she was appropriately dressed. A woman who has made poor choices in her life, admits it, asks for help, and moves on bigger and stronger. And how about Katie Sowers? The first female coach in the Super Bowl (and openly gay). Can you imagine how she has clawed her way to the top in an environment full of men? Yet all people are talking about The Sex Sells Show in the middle of the biggest sex trafficking place of the year, the Super Bowl. Oh yeah, Demi and Katie are great and all, yet let’s talk about how a 50-year-old woman can work a pole in front of millions of people at 7:30pm on Sunday; during a family-friendly show.


Because if you demand respect and are tired of being treated as an object; if you’d like to see equal pay in the workplace; if you’d like to be more than just a thing…then don’t scream out that the performance was “just entertainment”. Because that “entertainment” sure does send a crappy message to girls and young women.

Stop putting women who don’t mind a bit of (or a lot of) sexual objectification on a pedestal. I’m not here for it. I’m here for the courage of Demi Lavato and Katie Sowers and I will promote that faster than any strip show on prime time television.

Finally, you want to call us “Pearl Clutchers”? Okay, um sure?? I guess wanting my girls to see something other than the My Boobs and Butt Look Great Let Me Dry Hump The Floor To Show You Just What An Amazing Woman I Am makes me a “pearl clutcher”….well then there ya go.

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  1. Lesley says:

    Agreed. Loved Shakira wish JLo stayed home.  I was glad when my 9 year old boy said “ew I don’t want to see a big bouncy butt. Why do they keep showing that at a football game?”

  2. Susan says:

    Could not agree more. To me it looked like JLo felt one-upped by Shakira and was determined to out “shake” her. The crotch grabbing and stripper pole were just too much along with the costumes.

  3. Bootz says:

    You can’t see me, but I am standing up applauding you!  I have read so many opinions today on this whole spectacle and yours makes the most sense without being a bible thumper.  LOVE IT.

  4. Heather says:

    Before watching half-time, I was eagerly anticipating two strong women entertaining the masses. What I watched frustrated me. While I think Shakira nailed it, JLo left me scrunching my brow wondering why? Why would such a powerful legend feel the need to perform the way she did. Stripper pole, nude body suit, crotch grabbing, breast rubbing, hip thrusting with male dancers all around her. Did she think for a nanosecond the message she’d be sending to our youth, male and female alike? Once I realized my furrowed brow, I look around the room to my 76 y.o. dad who is shaking his head at what he is watching, my mother who is no longer watching, and my 19 y.o. who has a look of embarrassment on her face. I’m refusing to read news reports and debates on the spectacle. I am by no means a prude but there is a place for that type of entertainment and it’s not half time at the Super Bowl. Thank you for your words. I’m off to look for my pearls. I might need them in the future.

  5. Cris Eix says:

    Agree wholeheartedly 

  6. Jenny Welch says:

    Olivia said, “Why didn’t she have much clothes on?” It is a really difficult question to answer coming from a 10 year old.

  7. Karri says:

    I agree with everything you said about J LO BUT … am I the only one that saw the twerking and the butt checks of Shakira?  Come on now …. not needed!

  8. Renee Gamble says:

    There is a saying “don’t cast your pearls before swine” 
    I do believe that describes this to a T. Thank you for your perspective????????

  9. Kristin says:

    Well said, and thank you. I’ve been struggling with why, exactly, the half time show bothered me so much. I’ve read “They are both strong, independent women who are proud of their bodies and their talent.” OK…granted, but (specifically JLo), that pride could have and should have been paraded in a different way. 
    And did i really see J Balvin slap JLo’s bottom during the Booty performance?!? Perhaps that was not rehearsed…?

  10. Lori Ahearn says:

    I agree with everything you said. It’s a very contradictory age we live in. We see that portrayed on this stage. 

    I can answer your question about “How did JLo change from her leather chaps body suit to her nude and silver lace lingerie so fast. Well she had her the silver lingerie under her leather outfit. It probably was Velcro so it could be ripped off quick… all she had to do was be secure on her feet, someone rip it off and step into her second shoes and voila, taaadaaa.
    The stripper moves and pole were all for that NARCISSISTIC LIONESS personality trait, “ Look how incredible I am…look at the incredible shape I’m in… I can be a VERY Well Paid Stripper in front of the world and be idolized.” 

  11. Tim says:

    I’m a little late to the party with my comment but I’ll post it anyway.  I find that people are very quick to point the “morality” card to things they dislike and look the other way for things they like. This, of course, is your classic double standard. When a male does something of a similar nature, there seldom is the uproar. Case in point being Adam Levine last year that simply performed a strip tease that was nothing more than gratuitous, since it in no way pertained to his performance (he’s a singer, not a dancer and it was not part of some sort of dance number). It really came across at quite desperate, despite his obvious popularity. Then we have Bruno Mars with the lovely pelvis thrusts (barely a peep on that one). Katy Perry rubbing up with her backside against Lenny Kravitz (later going down to her knees). Of course, the worse being the ‘wardrobe malfunction’ with Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson, basically depicting a rape scene. And what happens? Timberlake is invited back in a matter of years, Janet Jackson never to be seen again.The “Superbowl is a family event” argument is just as weak. I’m not sure who ever made that claim, but the vast majority of viewers for the Superbowl are adults. 9% of viewers are under the age of 18. Sorry, football is not a family event and is an extremely violent sport for those that are actually paying attention. And as a parent, if you don’t think your child has seen much worse than this by the time they’re teenagers, you are extremely naive. So now we’re probably down to under 3% of viewers and of those, I doubt that many would have the attention span to sit still and actually watch a 4 hour event. With that said, is the solution to make sure everything is “G” rated so this sliver of the viewing audience would feel comfortable, or is it more practical for parents to be parents and either remove the kids from the TV if they find something offensive, use a remote control to change the channel, or lord forbid….make it a teaching moment for their kids (I vote for the latter).I thought the entire Superbowl was the best entertainment package of any I’ve ever watched and in no way want the event to turn into a Disney on Ice type show.