It is safe to say that many people only watch the Super Bowl for the halftime show. On February 2, 2020, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez put the “rock” in Miami, Florida’s Hard Rock Stadium for the 2020 Pepsi Super Bowl LIV halftime show. The next day controversy sparked about their performance due to the perception of sexualized dancing.
The performance began with Shakira singing through many of her hits, including “Hips Don't Lie,” “She Wolf,” and her rendition of Cardi B’s “I Like It” ft. Bad Bunny. Her performance included a team of dancers, stunning light shows, a crowd surf moment, and many of her iconic dance moves.
After a mashup of six of Shakira’s songs, the cameras panned over to Jenifer Lopez, standing on top of a replica of the Empire State Building. Her setlist included many of her biggest hits as well, including, “Jenny From the Block,” “Get Right,” and “On The Floor.” Her performance gained attention after she began pole dancing on stage during a few of her songs. Part of the controversy sparked from the show was because of this.
The duo then came together after J-Lo’s daughter, Emme Maribel Muñiz, performed her rendition of J-Lo’s “Let’s Get Loud” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” During which, J-Lo graced the stage in a feathered cape showing both the American and Puerto Rican flags. She also featured kids in makeshift “cages” on the field. This was to demonstrate a political statement towards the mistreatment of Latinos in the United States.
The Super Bowl halftime show is a beloved American tradition, which captivates sports fans and non-sports fans alike. It is broadcasted on live television each year for the whole country to see. This brings up many concerns about what can be considered appropriate to be shown for such a wide audience.
63% of EHHS community members who watched the show liked it and described it as non-stop fun, well put together, and creative. In fact, the political statement was one of the most memorable moments of the show.
37% of EHHS community members who watched it didn’t enjoy it. One of them being Ms. Sara Cooper, who described the dances and revealing outfits as “[O]versexualized for a broad audience…” This show sparked a lot of controversy throughout the internet for this very reason. However, many people agree that this performance was not the only time that the halftime show has had sexual tones. Mr. Matthew Laudano stated, “We’ve had Super Bowl performers in the past who were men who appeared shirtless, the previous year with Maroon 5, and nobody seemed to have a problem with that ... there shouldn’t be a double standard between men and women.”
Consequently, there are double standards between men and women that are taking place. The show did feature many dances and costumes that could be perceived as provocative. However, many previous halftime shows also included similar aspects. Maroon 5 danced shirtless in 2019 and Katy Perry’s dancers wore bikinis in 2015. Shakira and J-Lo aren’t the first performers to feature these themes, nor will they be the last. The show was amazing and featured two powerful women taking pride in themselves and their heritage, which shouldn’t be held against them.
Shakira and J-Lo’s performance was ranked as the biggest halftime show yet. It featured over one hundred dancers, a fascinating light show, and a touching political statement about the mistreatment of the Latino community in this country. Despite all of the controversy, this performance sets a high bar for the future of the Super Bowl halftime show.