Tessa Hughes is a journalism sophomore and opinion columnist. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News. 

For those who don’t watch football — aside from commercials and the Puppy Bowl — the halftime show is the highlight of the whole Super Bowl. 

This year was no different as Jennifer Lopez and Shakira took the field to SLAY for 15 minutes. These women are known to be performers and last Sunday night they lived up to their set reputations. I honestly aspire to be like Shakira when I’m 43 and J.Lo when I’m 50, I mean who wouldn’t? 

Well, I guess the answer to that question is everyone who felt the need to slut-shame these empowered women for how they chose to perform. 

Once again people took it upon themselves to criticize these women not for their show, but for their physical appearance and dance moves. Now it would be one thing if the critiques were about how Shakira and J. Lo chose to lip-sync or their song selection, but most of the remarks were straight attacks surrounding the fact that they are women embracing their sexuality. 

This year’s halftime show is definitely not one of the best in Superbowl history. Personally, the old rock acts are my favorite, but the talent exhibited was off the charts, downright impressive, and the spectacle of the whole ordeal is something that has become the “norm” for performers, male and female alike. 

Last year no one had a problem when Adam Levine decided to strut his stuff and strip down on live TV during Maroon 5’s halftime show, but as soon as Shakira and J. Lo did the same thing, America riots. 

Honestly, most of the criticism is surrounding J. Lo’s bodysuit and pole dance, but her outfit covered everything it needed to and looked spectacular. The issues emerge from people who feel uncomfortable with being exposed to it, but newsflash: no one is forced to watch the halftime show. 

This is not the first time this double standard has been present during the halftime show.

Remember “Nipplegate” of 2004? 

Justin Timberlake ripped off Janet Jackson’s top during their performance, exposing her right breast on national television. This wardrobe malfunction rocked the nation, with Jackson at the forefront taking the blame. 

Television networks and radio stations blacklisted Jackson. Her music and videos were not to be aired, and for what? Because a man exposed her? Where is Timberlake’s punishment?

He was the perpetrator, whether intentional or not, yet he remained unscathed. His career continued to flourish as Jackson’s plummeted. 

At this point, women are being reprimanded for simply having a sexuality.  

J. Lo should not be bashed for her pole dancing routine, but applauded because that takes skill. The performances that J. Lo and Shakira alike gave took months of hard work, dedication, and effort, and to have prude minds attack it so fervently is disrespectful. The show is being dismissed because it was given by two women. 

If a similar display was given by a man, no one would bat an eye. However, since the notion that women must remain conservative and pure in the public eye persists, an inspiring show is being tarnished. 

Both performers celebrated their Latin heritage and young women throughout their time, as J. Lo brought her daughter and other young teenagers on stage to sing with her. This was a moment for women from women and conservative America is attempting to destroy that.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *