Super Bowl Halftime: Empowering or Degrading

Pro/Con

Jared Arenas and Christa Pierik

(Pro)

The 54th Super Bowl kicked off earlier this month, and with it came another halftime show. 

This year, Jeniffer Lopez and Shakira were given the honor of performing on live TV for this year’s intermission. 

However, many viewers tuning in Sunday afternoon claimed that the halftime show was “too sexy”, and the FCC even received complaints saying that the performance was “extremely provocative in the female moments” and “gross, inappropriate, [and] designed to titillate”. 

Despite these claims, I do believe that the most recent halftime show was a great representation of women as well as a representation of both of the artists’ cultural background. 

Katy Perry was the only other female to lead the Super Bowl halftime show, which was back in 2015, making it a five year gap in which a female was the head of the performance, let alone two. 

Jeniffer Lopez directly stated in an interview during the Super Bowl after-party that the performance was dedicated to single and working moms. 

“And that’s what I want to teach my daughter, that’s what I want them to see, strong independent women who speak up for themselves,” Lopez said. 

The last time that a non-white artist took lead of the halftime show was back in 2014, when Bruno Mars was the lead singer, and this most recent performance can be seen as a breath of fresh air. 

Many viewers have stated their confusion in one moment where she made a tongue trill during “Hips Don’t Lie”, but it’s in fact a tribute to her Arabic lineage, and a tradition to make that sound during a joyous or celebratory tradition.

Lo herself didn’t shy away from portraying her cultural background either, seeing as how she decided to wear a Puerto Rican flag as she shared the stage with her daughter.

In fact, in a press conference the month before the performance, they each stated the message they wanted to convey. 

Lopez announced “Two Latinas doing this in this country at this time is just very empowering to us,” while Shakira said, “It’s very important for us to convey a message of unity and also to show what a relevant force the Latin community is in this country.” 

(Con)

The 54th Super Bowl Halftime Performance; A Giant Step Back For Women Equality 

 

CALLING ATTENTION TO ALL WOMEN:

If we want men to respect us we can’t go around provoking them and slapping them when they take the bait.

 

Hi, Christa here. An active girl boss achiever. Let’s just say the excessive booty shots and sexual innuendos were not appreciated.

 

I worry for this country because we are constantly striving to break the mold and be accepting of everything in our path. By opening up and being so accepting we’ve caused a blind eye to things that were once completely intolerable. The halftime performance is a highlight of how lenient society has gotten toward certain ideals. 

 

I fully believe that women should be allowed to, “wear pink and tell [people] how they feel about politics,” as expressed by Taylor Swift in Netflix’s Miss America Documentary.

 

But, there is a difference between embracing your womanhood and exploiting it.

 

For some reason people thought it was okay to put together explicit choreography and costumes for the most widely televised event in America. The crazy part is this was only two days after Human Trafficking Awareness Month which is observed during the month of January. All decency and respect set aside in order to “entertain” the public. 

 

What must be recognized is that the Super Bowl is widely catered as a family event enabling this public display of indecency to be displayed to children. Though they might be oblivious to the innuendos, the performance is still able to make a negative impression. How many times have you seen or heard a child imitate something from the schoolyard, television screen, social media, etc.? With catchy music and exciting dance moves kids might go around imitating this provocative choreography without knowing how inappropriate it really is. 

 

This is an issue that was not caused solely by women, but the entire team that created the halftime show. With that in mind, this is also an issue that must be recognized and dealt with by all.