Latin pop icons Shakira and Jennifer Lopez stirred up a media storm Super Bowl Sunday with a performance full of booty shaking and pole dancing. While some called the performance inappropriate for being sexually provocative, others praised the women for their unwavering talent and embrace of Latin culture.
Making a comeback from her last tour in 2018 for the release of “El Dorado,” Shakira performed her all-time famous songs, danced and crowd surfed. She also played the drums for part of Jennifer Lopez’s performance. Many celebrated Lopez’s performance, in which she pole danced and did cartwheels in heels, for what they said completely changed what it means to be a 50-year-old woman.
However, the performers also received a lot of backlash from Super Bowl viewers for their dancing. Many of these viewers took to social media to criticize the women for what they said promoted the sexualization of women’s bodies and exposed children to behavior inappropriate for a young audience.
Ohio football coach and minister Dave Daubenmire even said he plans to file a lawsuit against the NFL, Pepsi and Fox, claiming Shakira and Lopez’ revealing outfits put him “in danger of hellfire,” according to the New York Post.
The performance by Shakira and Lopez made the Super Bowl a particularly big night for the Latin community. To get an idea of what the night meant for the community, the Beacon asked Latin American students, who make up a large portion of enrolled students, for their thoughts.
The paper found that overall, the community felt that the halftime performance was the perfect way to represent Hispanic culture on America’s most viewed and loved sports event.
Senior Daniella Aliaga said Jennifer Lopez and Shakira outperformed themselves “as they usually do.”
“I think J-Lo and Shakira are people to look up to because they motivate the Latin community,” she said. “We don’t have that many figureheads as a culture, so I appreciate them being that figurehead.”
Sebastian Escobar, the manager of Brave New Radio, said he was thoroughly impressed with the performance.
“I thought Shakira, despite being out of the game for a while, was amazing.” he said. “I loved the fact that she represented the various Colombian cultures in her dances — and of course bringing Bad Bunny and J Balvin was a great surprise.”
Escobar also gave his opinion on the backlash towards the performance.
“It bothers me to see comments from those who say it was too promiscuous and that it promoted sexualization of women,” he said. “That’s far from the truth. It’s what Latino culture has always been about: shaking hips and booty dips.”
Escobar thinks this years’ reactions to the performance are similar to how Super Bowl viewers reacted to Janet Jackson’s performance in 2004. Jackson, a world-famous female artist of color, was also highly criticized for her performance, in which her breast was exposed at one point.
Super Bowl halftime shows have been going on since 1967, and there has been no shortage of controversy around performances from female artists.