Family and friends crowded around the television on Feb. 2 to watch the Super Bowl, but many Latinos stayed watching for the epic half-time show.
This year’s half-time show headlined Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, two big names in Latin music, and featured special guest appearances by J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Emme Muñiz.
The performance was stunning and featured many hits from the two including “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Waka Waka,” “Jenny From the Block,” and “On the Floor.”
The dance moves were high in energy, the lighting was stellar, and the costume changes were amazing. Not only was this performance beautiful and energizing, but it also told subtle stories. During Lopez’s part of the performance, she brought out a dual Puerto Rican-American flag and had children with American flags on their shirts emerge from what appeared to be steel cages as her daughter sang “Let’s Get Loud” and “Born in the U.S.A”.
Shakira decided to pay tribute to her Colombian roots during her part of the performance. She performed the mapalé, which is an Afro-Colombian style of dance from the country’s Caribbean coast. She also made a tongue-flicking cry called a zaghrouta, which is a way to express joy in Arab culture to pay tribute to her father because he is of Lebanese descent.
While many people enjoyed the half-time show, many others did not. Some people went as far as to say that the performance was provocative and unnecessary, and that they shouldn’t have performed at all.
Many people said that the outfits that Shakira and Lopez were wearing revealed too much skin, and that they couldn’t let their kids watch it because of how “provocative” it was. Other people talked about how there was no need to have a political message in the show because it was not the time and place for it–this was a football game, not a political ad.
I really enjoyed the show and took issue with many of these critics. In previous years, no one complained about Lady Gaga’s or Beyonce’s outfits, or Adam Levine being shirtless on stage. In those instances, it was praised. But when these two Latin women show off their curves it “shouldn’t be allowed” and it’s “too provocative.”
These women were more covered up than Adam Levine was, so I don’t see the problem with what they were wearing. People need to stop saying that body types that are curvier are more inappropriate because they aren’t– it is how they were built and they can’t control it.
And for the “it isn’t the time to make a political statement” comment, I think it was the perfect time. Over 100 million people tuned in to watch the Superbowl, and they should know that children are being put in cages. These are human beings and shouldn’t be treated like animals. Seeing these kids in cages on stage, and them breaking free of them, sends a powerful message of our reality.
The half-time show was spectacular and breathtaking with the energetic dance moves and beautiful hidden messages. This year’s show was truly one for the books, and I don’t know how next year’s show will live up to these Latin Legends.