While the Kansas City Chiefs put on a dazzling third and fourth quarter show to go on and win Super Bowl LIV, it’s twelve-year-old boys who may have really won the game thanks to Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s sparkly halftime show. If only pre-pubescent boys could concentrate on their homework with the same focus as they did the show, which featured Jenny From The Block dancing on a pole and Shakira’s hips covering about as many octaves as her famous yodel, we’d have a nation of geniuses. But where there’s superstar women there’s always controversy, and this year’s JLo and Shakira show was no different.
Last year, the NFL got criticism by everyone with taste for playing it safe during halftime and featuring Maroon 5 as its headliner. This year, the NFL recruited Jay-Z’s Roc Nation for some guidance, and decided to honor the host city of Miami’s Latina community by featuring Shakira and JLo.
“Two Latinas doing this in this country at this time is just very empowering to us. “-JLo
Turns out, not everyone thinks it’s appropriate during what is touted as a family show, to feature JLo and Shakira’s barely covered assets with such attention and focus. To be fair, one could see more skin at the gym, the beach or a Brandy Melville shop, but the Internet isn’t happy if the Internet isn’t mad. So the inevitable controversy over talented women proudly owning their assets has begun.
What didn’t people like? Well, Conservatives (except Jeb Bush see below) hated the overt sexuality of the women onstage. There was controversy over the amount of clothing either were wearing, which was more than Adam Levine wore last year. But, okay. And a lot of people took issue with JLo on a pole, which was a nod to her Hustlers movie, which featured JLo on a pole.
But despite the controversy, the JLo/Shakira show will be remembered for much more than JLo on a pole and the seemingly endless Shakira crotch shots. First and foremost, this year’s show marked the first time two Latina women have headlined the show. Considering the host city of Miami is predominantly Latino and the NFL viewing audience is nearly 10% Latin American, representing a more diverse viewing audience is something the NFL hasn’t always gotten right in the past.
And though the NFL isn’t known for getting political, or letting others do so, this year’s halftime show was as political as it gets. JLo wore a custom-made Versace code, which when opened onstage revealed a Puerto Rican flag. She then revealed the other side was covered in the American flag and wrapped herself in it.
Lopez’s daughter, Emme Maribel Muñiz, joined her mother onstage alongside a choir of children to sing a duet of “Let’s Get Loud” and “Born In The USA.” The children wore American flags on their shirts as they sang from cage-like structures, a nod to the immigration policies separating Hispanic children from their parents. Before the show Shakira stated, “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.”
And while it’s debatable if theirs was the best halftime show of all time, Prince or Gaga probably own that, but Shakira and Jennifer Lopez made history, made their community proud, and probably earned a new generations of twelve-year-old fans. There’s nothing bad about that.