Jennifer Lopez and Shakira


Scoot: Is condemnation of J-Lo and Shakira’s halftime show justified?

February 03, 2020 - 12:44 pm

So that’s what they mean when they say, “Latino passion!” J.Lo and Shakira, two Latino performers, were selected to entertain at the Super Bowl LIV halftime show in Miami, and it was obvious that raw passion was the theme.

Social media was ablaze with not just criticism - but outright condemnation for the sexuality that J.Lo and Shakira displayed during the most-viewed annual televised event in America. On the WWL Radio Facebook page, praise for the show was dwarfed by the overwhelming number of complaints that described it as everything from vulgar to nasty to inappropriate for an viewing audience that included many kids.

Here are just a few of the over 600 comments on the WWL Radio Facebook page:

Katie: “Crude and no place for prime time showing where there are kids watching.”

Josh: “Luciferian and satanic. Same as last year and many years before.”

Michael: “Some of the most un-American, nastiest, most vulgar acts I’ve ever seen. Is this what we’re letting OUR country turn into?”

Rusty: “Why was J-Lo grabbing herself? Does she have a feminine itch and needs some products?”

But some enjoyed that halftime show and had no problem with the display of sexuality:

Reuben: “Awesome, Lit Up, Fire, Great performances, Standing O.”

Therese: “Love it! Awesome!”

Mary: “Y’all just mad at them when they stopped using “Up With People.”

No one expects everyone to agree on any Super Bowl halftime show, but I thought the criticism and the suggestion that the content of the performances by J-Lo and Shakira were reflective of an America gone wild were outrageous.

As I posted on the WWL Radio and the SOTA Facebook pages - I can agree that the nature of the halftime show was a bit risqué, but it’s nothing we all haven’t seen before.

Let’s remember that people love to complain. Complaining has become a recreational activity in America, and there has been a growing fear that the very foundation of American society is being threatened by everything from immigrants to minorities to opposing political views.

I was surprised that J.Lo’s outfit - what there was of it - was as revealing as it was - but not because I’m afraid of what message it sends or because I fear it will promote the wholesale disrespect for women. I was surprised because I would have thought the producers of the Super Bowl would have played it safer.

However, there is another way - a more realistic way - to interpret the halftime performances of J-Lo and Shakira. Sex was on display. As one of the few animals in the animal kingdom that has sex out of choice and not solely for procreation, sex is a fundamental part of human nature. It has been used to promote products from nearly the dawn of advertising. It is appealing and grabs our attention. That does not make acknowledgment of sex innately evil.

J.Lo is 50-years-old, and Shakira is 43. These are two women who have worked hard to maintain excellent figures that they are obviously very proud of. At 50, J-Lo reminds us that there is nothing wrong with recognizing our sexual nature, and I didn’t see anything that promoted the mistreatment of women. Shakira’s performance included a subtle reference to S&M, but I can’t imagine that any young person would have understood the sexual implications unless they were already familiar with the lifestyle. As adults, we need to remember that children see the world through their eyes with their reference to life and not through our eyes as adults. So if you - the adult - don’t make a big deal about something, then kids will probably not even be curious.

I am in Portland, OR visiting my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter; and we watched most of the halftime show. At no time was there any concern about the images that my granddaughter was seeing or was there any concern for what the images said about the respect that women have been fighting for since the days of Susan B. Anthony.

My daughter-in-law Lauren and I talked about her young daughter watching the half-time show, and we talked about the bigger picture of what it means to the new awareness driven by the #MeToo movement. Lauren’s instinctive response was, “I see a confident, strong, hard-working mom who is balancing motherhood and a career. People should worry about themselves.”

I trust that their reactions come from individuals who are keenly aware of promoting respect for women in every aspect of life because when Sean and Lauren first learned they were having a girl - both were ecstatic about the opportunity to raise a girl into a woman who would be independent and command respect through her deeds.

Every Super Bowl has included extravagant TV commercials that have used sex to attract attention. Sex and sexual innuendos are not new to prime-time television viewing. Much of the impact of sexuality in the mainstream media is not about the kids watching - it’s more about how the parents or the adults around the kids react to what they see. If a father or a man makes crude comments about J-Lo’s outfit and her seductive dance moves, that teaches a young boy or girl how to react.

Yes, the Super Bowl halftime show was seductive with revealing outfits; and I understand how many people were offended because too many Americans are sitting around waiting for something to offend them so they can complain on social media. Do not underestimate that social media is a catalyst for complaints since it provides every average citizen the power to make their complaints public.

J.Lo’s and Shakira’s halftime performance at the 2020 Super Bowl will not leave a lasting scar on America, and it does not reflect a sudden change in the morals of this country.

The Baby Boomer generation - now the establishment and now quick to criticize acknowledgement of our sexuality - inspired the mini-skirt, the micro-mini skirt and hot pants when they were coming of age. Most Boomers would argue that their generation turned out just fine.

Any young person that would grow up to show a lack of respect for any woman should not blame the halftime show at the Super Bowl for their attitude. Their attitude was actually formed more by the mothers and fathers and the men and women that taught them to be disrespectful toward women.

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