Halftime show got half the credit it deserved

Illustration by Aleah Green

The Super Bowl is one of the largest annual sporting events in the United States. Naturally, the halftime show is the most important event that takes place during the Super Bowl, for those who aren't sports fans or those who are faking it for the snacks at the annual Super Bowl party.

The announcement of the entertainment being artist Jennifer Lopez and artist Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was widely celebrated. Diversity in the entertainment industry has been discussed by many and addressed by few, including the media.

Rather than celebrating more Hispanic representation, articles have surfaced stating that their performance was nothing more than inappropriate dancing in extremely revealing outfits. Many people have also shared Instagram stories to express that the Super Bowl performance was not only indecent and disgustingly sexual, but supposedly has ties to satanism and human trafficking. To add the cherry on top, these people assert in their criticism that the performance wasn't decent enough for children to watch.

Talking about sex trafficking taking place at the Super Bowl alone would've been a valuable discussion that hasn't received a lot of attention. However, the supposed ties to satanism downplay the legitimacy and importance of sex trafficking at the Super Bowl and completely invalidates the seriousness of the matter. Instagram user @roseuncharted tried to make a reaching connection between the two but left many viewers of her story skeptical.

Promoting cult-like ideas that spread conspiracies and misinformation on social media isn't a new concept, but it remains important to always call out and fact check these assertions.

These criticisms unfairly minimize the stellar, powerhouse performance Lopez and Shakira put on for the world to see, which was a historic moment for Hispanic representation.

As a Latina watching the performance, something inside of me exclaimed, "Finally, two incredible Latina women performing at the Super Bowl!"

Shakira's international audience and Lopez's predominantly Hispanic audience added to the incredible exposure of this underrepresented culture. Some Americans fail to remember that the Super Bowl is only a big deal within the United States. Shakira broke those barriers by performing while simultaneously drawing in her Hispanic audience in the United States. This erasure of borders made for a sensational celebration for the entire Latinx community.

Together, Shakira and Lopez made a Super Bowl halftime show that the world could enjoy. Additionally, neither of them will be compensated for the wonderful show they put on.

Forbes shared that no Super Bowl halftime performers are paid, as it is an honor to even be offered a spot on the stage.

Regarding their extremely revealing outfits, the two wore not a scrap of fabric less than the professional NFL cheerleaders' uniforms. Traditionally speaking, cheerleaders are deliberately dressed to put everything they have on display. Yet, somehow, it is wrong for performers to wear these similar outfits at the halftime show because there are kids watching.

Also, not a single brow rose when singer and actor Adam Levine went shirtless for his entire performance during the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show. The only comments made were about his singing. His revealing tattooed body was acceptable and even praised by viewers.

This obvious double standard is ridiculous. These women should be praised because they are middle-aged and remain extremely talented at their craft while looking as good as they do.

There is no longer an excuse for allowing women to be torn down for the way they are dressed. These women have proven through their past work that they are not afraid to show off their bodies through song and dance, so their costumes shouldn't have been nearly as shocking to viewers as it was.

Their performance was nothing short of a long-awaited celebration for the entire Latinx community, broadcast on one of the biggest annual sporting events.

As for the dancing, it wasn't any more indecent than what children see on TikTok. Shakira sprinkled in a bit of her hometown culture by performing two traditional Colombian dances during her performance. These counterpoints are all reaching for grounds that don't exist.

The cultural discrimination is senseless and laughable. The aspect that was most inspected was their outfits and dancing, which are not decisions made at the public's discretion in any regard. These women added flare to the Super Bowl stage and were not afraid to express themselves while showing off their culture through their clothing and dancing.

All of that being said, when people buy tickets to go to the Super Bowl or put the Super Bowl on the TV, they are thereby consenting to everything that they and their children may witness.

The ridiculous criticism has gone so far that an Ohio minister named Dave Daubenmire, host of the Pass The Salt Ministries podcast, intends to sue the NFL for damages that include the potential of his soul not being accepted into heaven because he watched the halftime performance. According to the New York Post, "Daubenmire said he has spoken with a lawyer and plans to go forward with the lawsuit against the NFL, claiming he would be satisfied by scoring an $867 trillion settlement."

To include some context, the most recently estimated global wealth of every country's economy in U.S. currency is only $360 trillion, according to The 2019 Credit Suisse Global wealth report, which is an annual report conducted by the investment banking company, Credit Suisse.

Daubenmire also commented about the halftime show in a webcast on Vimeo stating, "I turned on the TV to watch football, not to watch a pole dance. They penetrated the sanctity of my home.”

There's this really neat tool called a TV remote. If the halftime performance didn't meet your standard for entertainment, you could easily change the channel until it is over. If you were at the game, no one forced you to stay seated. The NFL does not force its fans or viewers to watch the show, they have every right to look away.

Disliking their performance because of their singing is much different than disrespecting a culture and their rights to dressing as they please. For that, the feedback is nothing less than nonsensical double-standards, unfairly targeting two empowered women.