Some people just don’t like to see two Latinas winning, do they? While Jennifer Lopez and Shakira absolutely dominated their Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show performance on February 2, there’s been qwhite the reaction in the weeks following—namely, in the form of more than a thousand complaints filed to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). Apparently, some viewers missed the meaningful bits of their performance—like J.Lo’s tribute to Puerto Rico or Shakira honoring traditional champeta—because they were distracted by something else entirely: Their bodies.
“WAY too close showing cleavage and butts,” read one complaint. The rest follow suit: The performance was seemingly “too revealing,” “obscene,” “offensive and inappropriate for kids” (whose kids?) and borderline “pornographic” (what kind are you watching, dude?), according to selections from over 1,300 complaints.
J.Lo and Shakira can’t catch a break. While some viewers are busy blasting them for their “sexualized” dance moves, others are brooding over the idea that these stars set an unrealistic standard for looking so good at their age (Lopez is 50, whereas Shakira is 43). That’s not something they can help—lest we also forget that the fountain of youth is not only a gift of genetics but one of wealth, too. Nonetheless, some have taken strange offense to what J.Lo and Shakira’s aging (or lack thereof) means for impressionable audiences.
Both criticisms point to a problem rooted in viewers’ perspectives—not so much J.Lo and Shakira themselves. Let’s take a closer look at one recent complaint issued to the FCC, which seems to think watching a game of football is any less assaulting than two Latina women displaying similar and empowering feats of athleticism (pole dancing is hard, ok?) on stage:
“The half time show was the furthest thing from a “family friendly” broadcast as possible. The depiction of strippers, close-ups of [crotch] and anus, the orgy by back up dancers, naked buttocks, are NOT APPROPRIATE for children viewers. I should not have to send children out of the room when watching a FOOTBALL GAME. The NFL and FOX are contributing to the total sexualization of our culture and cramming it down our throats. No where is safe.” –Mission Hills, Kansas
Yeah, nowhere is safe. Especially the football field, where hulky men bash into each other—on purpose—routinely resulting in broken bones or traumatic brain injuries. It’s frankly aggressive, but it’s their choice, and we still watch. Kids watch! Yet, somehow, a little extra booty is too much to handle…