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SKL

Super bowl halftime show and culture

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Disclaimer - this is not about judging.  It's not really even about halftime shows, which I rarely watch any more because the standard is set so low regardless of who is performing.  It's an honest question about cultural differences.

On facebook, Hispanic mom friends have taken opposite sides on whether or not the halftime show was appropriate for primetime.  Some of them have commented that it's a cultural difference and have no problem with kids seeing what was seen.  At least one Hispanic mom had the opposite opinion.

I am curious.  Is this a cultural difference?  My kids have a friend in a Latino family who is a bit risque as is her mom.  (I like her very much, but yes she pushes it by Midwest standards.)  Is this a Latino thing?  Or is it specific to some Latino populations?  Or is it more narrow and the Hispanic individuals assigning it to culture are painting with too broad a brush?

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I did not watch the show and do not know what happened there this time.  But aren't those always raunchy, no matter who performs?  There is always an uproar afterward because of inpropriety, wardrobe malfunction, etc.

I have been involved in Hispanic churches.  The ladies there are less conservative about covering cleavage, I would say.

Otherwise, our society in generally has become overly sexualized and raunchy/disgusting.  I think it transcends race, culture, and socioeconomic status.

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For an example, a Hispanic mom friend (political conservative if it matters) posted a meme like this:

   "Hispanics" [dad, mom and little girl smiling and dancing on their feet while watching the halftime show]

   "Everyone Else" [dad and mom looking shocked and covering daughters' eyes]

Also, a number of women are calling the moves "empowerment" and saying we prudes need to get with the program.

Remember the push to eliminate the swimsuit competition in the Miss America pageant?  I thought the point was that sexualized performances were degrading to women.  I guess I'm confused.

 

Edited by SKL
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I didn't watch the superbowl or the halftime show, but have read a little bit of commentary on it, both about how inappropriate it was and about the cultural aspects of it.

I am not going to comment specifically on the halftime show. But I will say that just because something is part of a culture doesn't automatically make it acceptable. 

Edited by DesertBlossom
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I thought that Shakira was Lebanese muslim? (I checked on that more than a decade ago 😉 )

BTW/ I did not watch the halftime show, but, I did happen to watch quite a few of them before I had kids and I know that race/culture does not matter when it comes to over sexualization of women on these shows. BTW/ any show relating to women on stripper-poles for entertainment is something that is inappropriate to any culture, and is not something I would want my young son or daughter to see.

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I wasn’t a fan of the costuming or of seeing any part of JLos crotch or of the pole dancing, but Shakira’s dancing looked like belly dancing mixed with some Colombian stuff I have seen—totally nods to her heritage. 

I find it fascinating that the commentary has mostly been about the oversexualization of things and not about some of the political commentary they put into the halftime show—like kids in cages. 

Edited by prairiewindmomma
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Most people I associate with gave two hoots. It looks like a whole lotta pearl clutching to me. The only people who said boo (in favor of chill out already) were my Puerto Rican friends (who are also religious conservatives). Katie Perry went out there in her signature bustiers without an uproar. Janet was fine until the nip slip. The bigger message (kids in cages, Puerto Ricans are Americans) is so much easier to ignore when costumes and poles get all the attention.

Edited by Sneezyone
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1 minute ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I find it fascinating that the commentary has mostly been about the oversexualization of things and not about some of the political commentary they put into the halftime show—like kids in cages. 

I have seen some mild commentary about the political stuff.  However, some people felt the kids in cages were inappropriate because the superbowl is the biggest sex trafficking event of the year.  I'm thinking their intended message was lost on many.  And honestly, I personally did not notice the cages.  Maybe my brain assumed bars were an extension of the stripper pole prop ....  Or maybe I was too busy telling my kids what I thought of what went before.

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I so hope that this thread doesn’t roll downhill...fast...

I’m of the camp that believes that the half-time show has always been quite raunchy.  I can remember being at a Super Bowl party years ago when my son was quite young.  I ushered him out of the room at halftime with the reminder that what was about to be on television was inappropriate for young children.  As I was doing so, we ran into a gaggle of tiny girls who had mothers ushering them into the room specifically to watch the event!  This was not the first time in life I have looked up and found myself swimming upstream alone!

I grew up in dance and coached cheerleading in my past life...I spent much time arguing with girls and parents about which moves were okay and which were not ...I hate to see these girls grow up believing that they have to sell their goods, if you know what I mean...Sadly, I don’t think this is a new phenomenon.

Perhaps I was just born an old lady... 

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9 minutes ago, mathnerd said:

I thought that Shakira was Lebanese muslim? (I checked on that more than a decade ago 😉 )

BTW/ I did not watch the halftime show, but, I did happen to watch quite a few of them before I had kids and I know that race/culture does not matter when it comes to over sexualization of women on these shows. BTW/ any show relating to women on stripper-poles for entertainment is something that is inappropriate to any culture, and is not something I would want my young son or daughter to see.

Shakira is Columbian.

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I did not see the super bowl but I had heard some grumblings about the sexualization of the half time show so I YouTubed part of it.

The pole dancing was too much for me.  It was just straight out of the strip club pole dancing, the only difference was that the little bit of clothing that she had on stayed on...and I am not sure that it was enough clothing to be considered clothing.  I haven't seen Hustlers or heard the music from it (at least not specifically) but I assume that perhaps the pole dancing was related to that?

In general, I think pop culture is way oversexualized as it is, and outside of the pole dancing, I don't think the rest of the show that I saw was much different than the rest of the sexual pop culture we have going on.    I don't expect Baby Shark all over the place, but occasionally it would be nice for pop music to not be about sex.

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Count me as another who totally missed the children in cages!  But this makes my point...all we saw were women on display.  They totally buried their own message!

 

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I don't post much on FB, but I posted that night about what a different experience it was watching the halftime show with 14 year old boys.  That I thought it was a little much for primetime - especially the costuming and the crotch shots.  I got a lot of unfavorable feedback (from moms) who said it was good family friendly entertainment.  One has twin boys a couple of years younger than mine.  I told her she should take them to see the Hustlers movie as that would be good family friendly fun too.   I have unfriended some people -- LOL!!!  I have enough going on right now and I try and keep my FB page positive.

 

Edited by mlktwins
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The outfits were no more risque than those worn by white entertainers. Neither was the dancing. So imo, the main culture difference is between “entertainer in a show” vs “the rest of the world”.  

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1 minute ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

The outfits were no more risque than those worn by white entertainers. Neither was the dancing. So imo, the main culture difference is between “entertainer in a show” vs “the rest of the world”.  

I agree and I don't want to see that much of any entertainer -- LOL.  I certainly don't have to question J-Lo's grooming habits at this point!!!

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7 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Shakira is Columbian.

Of Lebanese parentage. Her last name that she officially uses is Mubarak (which is a Muslim last name)

eta: Lebanese ululation in super bowl halftime show: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/amp30751113/shakira-viral-tongue-moment-super-bowl/

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5 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

The outfits were no more risque than those worn by white entertainers. Neither was the dancing. So imo, the main culture difference is between “entertainer in a show” vs “the rest of the world”.  


Does no one remember Lady Gaga? Beyonce? M.I.A flipping the bird? The LITERALLY half-naked and fully tatted up Adam Levine? The performers don’t really control the camera angles either. The producers do.

Edited by Sneezyone
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6 minutes ago, mathnerd said:

Of Lebanese parentage. Her last name that she officially uses is Mubarak (which is a Muslim last name)

 

Her maiden name is of Arabic origin. She’s not Muslim and was raised in a primarily Catholic Latin country. 

ETA: you do realize that ululations are common vocalizations in Latin America, South Asia and parts of Africa, right? It also occurs among Jews. What does that have to do with Islam, her last name, or the half time show?

Edited by Sneezyone
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2 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:


Does no one remember Lady Gaga? Beyonce? M.I.A flipping the bird? The LITERALLY half-naked and fully tatted up Adam Levine? The performers don’t really control the camera angles either. The producers do.

Yes. It bothers me that this is being made an ethnic/racial issue. 

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5 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Yes. It bothers me that this is being made an ethnic/racial issue. 

Is it really though? Or are we just hearing those voices the loudest? Because I think there are a lot of people (including yours truly) who have thought for many years that the halftime show has been inappropriate and not at all family-friendly. 

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26 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

 

Her maiden name is of Arabic origin. She’s not Muslim and was raised in a primarily Catholic Latin country. 

ETA: you do realize that ululations are common vocalizations in Latin America, South Asia and parts of Africa, right? It also occurs among Jews. What does that have to do with Islam, her last name, or the half time show?


The thread referenced to “Hispanic” culture in the halftime show. I was pointing out that it references very heavily to middle eastern culture (including Syrian, Muslim, Lebanese) as well. A belly dance is most definitely not of Latina origin (so is zaghrouta, and one of her songs had an arabic chant in it and she wore an arabic costume according to half-time show experts). It is very significant because of the current political climate in this country, in my opinion.

”introducing Westerners to the traditional Middle Eastern cry of joy called a zaghrouta”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-life-shakira-tongue-flicking-arabic-meaning-tt-soc-02032020-20200203-wxe5wv5f2jg77jux7xrb75nihu-story.html%3foutputType=amp

Edited by mathnerd
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With all the complaining I've heard online I decided to watch it. I don't understand the fuss. It is not a secret that this is what should be expected during the halftime show or any live performance by many performers. It is not something I want my children watching, not necessarily because of the dancing(minus the pole dancing) but because of some of the costumes. Mainly j lo's when she's pole dancing. 

But even the pole dancing was pretty tame and I think it was about as nonsexual as you can get with a pole dance. She showed off her strength quite a bit with it and she certainly could have made it worse.

Part of me is intrigued to see what my 11 year ds would say about it if he saw it. He does not have much exposure to the sexualization in entertainment and he chooses to look away when say we walk passed Victoria secrets even though we've never focused on modesty/etc.

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But I don't think this is a cultural thing. I think it is a societal things. While the women certainly drew from their cultures some of the costume choices and camera views were driven by our societies view on entertainment

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I married into a Mexican family and IME Latinos are much more comfortable with sexy costuming and dance. For sure. That said, pole dancing does not fall into the same category as samba.

My Mexican best friend, who is a bad ass retired cop and not conservative at all, posted a rant about it today because of she thought it was a pretty base example of "empowerment." She was more impressed with Demi and the female football coach. 

I don't actually care about any of it. My favorite part has been the memes.

Screen Shot 2020-02-04 at 8.47.39 AM.png

Edited by sassenach
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30 minutes ago, Hadley said:

Count me as another who totally missed the children in cages!  But this makes my point...all we saw were women on display.  They totally buried their own message!

 

Yes, they did.  Which is sad because it’s a good message.  But if they make it too political, people will complain about that, too.  And honestly, they probably don’t care that much about what’s happening with the country as long as their pocketbook isn’t being affected.  If they did, the message would be bigger and not just on super bowl Sunday.  
 

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I thought the show was fine. I thought the camera angles, especially on Shakira, were inappropriate, but it was entirely not her fault. The artists' are creating a show for the stadium and considering the optics of the people there as much or if not more than the tv crowd. I think it would have looked a lot different and more family friendly in that setting. I thought whoever was running the cameras was being really tacky and rude and wish that J Lo and Shakira weren't being blamed for that.

I find the pearl clutching to be over the top. Nothing was that different than any other years except that all of the lead performers were female.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, mathnerd said:


The thread referenced to “Hispanic” halftime show. I was pointing out that it references middle eastern culture (including Syrian, Muslim, Lebanese) as well. A belly dance is most definitely not of Latina origin.

”introducing Westerners to the traditional Middle Eastern cry of joy called a zaghrouta”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-life-shakira-tongue-flicking-arabic-meaning-tt-soc-02032020-20200203-wxe5wv5f2jg77jux7xrb75nihu-story.html%3foutputType=amp

She is not Muslim. There wasnxt anything referencing Islam specifically in the show. She is of Lebanese descent and was raised Catholic. Just because a culture shares some commonalities with a religion doesn't mean one is referencing that religion when one showcases a commonality. This is important because there are people who are denigrating Shakira's person and saying she is Muslim like it is some kind of slur. Well, she's not, first of all. Lebanon actually has a high percentage of Christians (about 38%, versus about 2% in Israel/PT). 

I know I am over-making my point and it is not meant to be attacking. Mubarak, incidently, means blessing/blessed and is Arabic but not specifically an Islamic last name. 

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40 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

and I am not sure that it was enough clothing to be considered clothing.

Just quoting this as a jumping off point.  Looking at the costumes, they were both covered from the waist down by flesh covered lycra.  The top part of both outfits actually cover more skin than a typical cheerleader outfit. 

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1 minute ago, Cnew02 said:

Just quoting this as a jumping off point.  Looking at the costumes, they were both covered from the waist down by flesh covered lycra.  The top part of both outfits actually cover more skin than a typical cheerleader outfit. 

Not knowing the technical terms, I thought that they wore suits similar to what figure skaters wore on the ice. 

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4 minutes ago, Chris in VA said:

She is not Muslim. There wasnxt anything referencing Islam specifically in the show. She is of Lebanese descent and was raised Catholic. Just because a culture shares some commonalities with a religion doesn't mean one is referencing that religion when one showcases a commonality. This is important because there are people who are denigrating Shakira's person and saying she is Muslim like it is some kind of slur. Well, she's not, first of all. Lebanon actually has a high percentage of Christians (about 38%, versus about 2% in Israel/PT). 

I know I am over-making my point and it is not meant to be attacking. Mubarak, incidently, means blessing/blessed and is Arabic but not specifically an Islamic last name. 


It very much feels like a promotion of the theory that closeted Muslims are out to convert unsuspecting American youth to their awful faith using hip shaking and other gyrations.

Edited by Sneezyone
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1 minute ago, mathnerd said:

Not knowing the technical terms, I thought that they wore suits similar to what figure skaters wore on the ice. 

That's what it looks like to me.

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I am not watching football or the half time show, but  I seriously wonder how any show can be inappropriate compared to adults giving each other concussions that can lead to permanent brain damage.

Edited by regentrude
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I just wish female performers didn't always feel like they have to swing around on a pole, ride naked on a giant wrecking ball, or wear thongs as costumes just to get people to watch their show.  I just don't see so much of that in the male performers

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3 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I just wish female performers didn't always feel like they have to swing around on a pole, ride naked on a giant wrecking ball, or wear thongs as costumes just to get people to watch their show.  I just don't see so much of that in the male performers

Yes!  I couldn't help but notice the male singers were fully dressed in shirts, long pants and overcoats.  As talented and powerful as JLo and Shakira are, I wish that they would show little girls that you don't have to look like you're naked to showcase your talent.  

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1 minute ago, happysmileylady said:

I just wish female performers didn't always feel like they have to swing around on a pole, ride naked on a giant wrecking ball, or wear thongs as costumes just to get people to watch their show.  I just don't see so much of that in the male performers

I never understood how projecting a stripper image or pointing to one’s private parts in front of the world stage was construed as “female empowerment” though I applaud JLo for hanging upside down on a pole while singing on a crowded stage in a slippery costume which is what it looks like in the pictures on newspaper sites.

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1 hour ago, mathnerd said:

I thought that Shakira was Lebanese muslim? (I checked on that more than a decade ago 😉 )

 

Her father was Lebanese though I don't know if he was Muslim. Many Lebanese are Christian. His family moved to Columbia when he was pretty young and he was raised in that culture. Her mother is Spanish and Italian. She was born and raised in Columbia.

I don't watch football though I usually watch the commercials online the next day. Sometimes I watch the halftime show as well, and I did that yesterday after reading so much about it. I loved it. I thought it was perfect for the venue/location. It was so very...Miami, says the Florida Girl. 

Edited by Lady Florida.
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3 minutes ago, perkybunch said:

Yes!  I couldn't help but notice the male singers were fully dressed in shirts, long pants and overcoats.  As talented and powerful as JLo and Shakira are, I wish that they would show little girls that you don't have to look like you're naked to showcase your talent.  


This is revisionist history.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.phillyvoice.com/55-complaints-were-filed-fcc-about-adam-levines-super-bowl-performance-nudity/amp/

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Just now, Sneezyone said:

I'm not revising anything.  I am speaking about the male soloists in JLo's and Shakira's show.  They wore long clothes and overcoats.  Yes, they did.

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Just now, perkybunch said:

I'm not revising anything.  I am speaking about the male soloists in JLo's and Shakira's show.  They wore long clothes and overcoats.  Yes, they did.


It is revisionist in its assumption that this particular show exists in isolation. It doesn’t.

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I think what People are referring to is that when complaints are made about the style of dancing and such the response is “this is Hispanic culture, get over it”

honestly the super bowl halftime show has been gross for years so I’m not surprised about any of it.

(NFL cheerleading is not that different. I hate NFL cheerleading.) 

Edited by fairfarmhand
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2 minutes ago, perkybunch said:

I'm not revising anything.  I am speaking about the male soloists in JLo's and Shakira's show.  They wore long clothes and overcoats.  Yes, they did.

Some of them wore that but some were also half naked wearing super weird bondage-looking shirts. 

I agree with the sentiment that women or any performer shouldn't feel the need to be half naked to get a crowd. My only disagreement with some is that this year was anything different or somehow worse than other years.

 

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1 minute ago, fairfarmhand said:

I think what People are referring to is that when complaints are made about the style of dancing and such the response is “this is Hispanic culture, get over it”

honestly the super bowl halftime show has been gross for years so I’m not surprised about any of it.

(NFL cheerleading is not that different. I hate NFL cheerleading.) 


Part of it was cultural in the ethnic sense and part of it was cultural in the ‘Superbowl’ precedent sense. None of it strayed from either beaten path.

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29 minutes ago, Paige said:

 

I find the pearl clutching to be over the top. Nothing was that different than any other years except that all of the lead performers were female.

 

 

And this is why people are clutching their pearls. They are intimidated by this. It's also why others are discussing female empowerment.

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1 hour ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I wasn’t a fan of the costuming or of seeing any part of JLos crotch or of the pole dancing, but Shakira’s dancing looked like belly dancing mixed with some Colombian stuff I have seen—totally nods to her heritage. 

I find it fascinating that the commentary has mostly been about the oversexualization of things and not about some of the political commentary they put into the halftime show—like kids in cages. 

I didn’t notice the kids in cages.  And I think that when people use their sexuality to be heard, the only message that is heard is their sexuality.

1 hour ago, Hadley said:

Count me as another who totally missed the children in cages!  But this makes my point...all we saw were women on display.  They totally buried their own message!

 

Exactly.

46 minutes ago, Paige said:

I thought the show was fine. I thought the camera angles, especially on Shakira, were inappropriate, but it was entirely not her fault. The artists' are creating a show for the stadium and considering the optics of the people there as much or if not more than the tv crowd. I think it would have looked a lot different and more family friendly in that setting. I thought whoever was running the cameras was being really tacky and rude and wish that J Lo and Shakira weren't being blamed for that.

I find the pearl clutching to be over the top. Nothing was that different than any other years except that all of the lead performers were female.

I agree about the camera angles.  I was thinking as I watched, that if the camera guy wasn’t beneath the performers and shooting up, it would have a completely different feel to it.

However, that weird costume JLo wore at the beginning with the leather chaps-like pants and most of her bum sticking out was weird.  It was meant to emphasize the naked part of her bum.  I know people like to talk about her bum a lot, so maybe that’s why she did it?  I thought that the fact that her pants didn’t have any cloth in the crotch/bum area was designed to draw the eye to the area.  Very in-your-face-look-at-my-genital-area.  

 

 

34 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

 just wish female performers didn't always feel like they have to swing around on a pole, ride naked on a giant wrecking ball, or wear thongs as costumes just to get people to watch their show.  I just don't see so much of that in the male performers.

I agree. And I don’t find it empowering in the slightest. I can’t imagine ever in my life taking off my clothes and sliding around on a pole (or a wrecking ball)  in front of the men in my life.  How is that empowering to women?  Can you imagine going into work and taking off everything except your underwear and wiggling around in front of your male coworkers?  That is NOT empowering to women.  

 

———

The OP was asking though, about cultural differences.  And while I’m over here thinking it’s tacky to show women pole dancing on prime time TV, the hispanic women she knew thought it was perfectly fine.  

While I was watching it I was thinking the same thing, “This is over the top to me, but I do know that in hispanic culture, the women are expected to be sexier.”  I don’t think it’s seen with the same unease as I see it.  I think it’s considered normal and natural.

ETA:  I know that those last two paragraphs sound like all or nothing.  I am aware there are many different people in each culture that don’t all agree. But from the little bit I know, I’ve been under the impression that it’s more acceptable (not even sure that’s the right word) for women to go all out to dress up and be sexy.  I guess I’m thinking along the lines of Latin dances as compared to things like the Waltz or the twist.  

Edited by Garga
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Just now, Paige said:

Some of them wore that but some were also half naked wearing super weird bondage-looking shirts. 

I agree with the sentiment that women or any performer shouldn't feel the need to be half naked to get a crowd. My only disagreement with some is that this year was anything different or somehow worse than other years.

 

Some years are less raunchy than others.  But yeah some years are also pretty bad. 

Unless my Colts are playing, I generally don’t watch much of the Super Bowl and often miss parts or all of the the half time show.  I remember when Prince was on (since my Colts won that year) and I don’t remember him running around in pasties and a Speedo lol.  I also remember the Janet Jackson/Timberlake thing and yeah,  the “wardrobe malfunction” wasn’t his wardrobe.  Sure, there are male performers that go that sexualized route, but it just doesn’t happen as often as I see it happen with female performers.  

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My experience looking around has been that the same women (all women) who critique the oversexualization of the female body--some feminists and also traditionally conservative women--  critiqued the performance like they do all over-sexualized performances [pole dancing is pole dancing. I am so over the people pretending it's something else. Yes, you have to be strong, but what is the strength being used for?-- to whet the sexual appetites of men which I can not stress enough, is not liberation or empowerment! If it was a group of women pole dancing in their livingroom alone no one would say boo]...but then this year the backlash against them was swift and venomous. "White women policing brown bodies."

I reject that. It's literally the same voices critiquing this as always. 

The fact that the show was done in the shadow of what is essentially a human-trafficking (which effects hugely minorities in America)  expo makes it bewildering.

 

....

Separately, I would like to add that the amount of posts I have seen of people denigrating their bodies in light of JLo and Shakira's awesome bodies has been so horrible. There are some funny memes, but there are also many people I know posting how disgusting they are. 

I can not believe that all these left-leaning people have not learned the lessons of years past. Women's bodies being sexualized to make a few old men money is the news of a bygone decade. The Left is eating itself alive. 

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I thought Shakira's costumes and moves were fine.   I did see articles about her incorporating some Arabic in her songs and the belly dancing.  I also thought it was cool that she plays the drums.

I thought JLo's costume and pole dance were a bit over the top.  I also thought the costumes were ugly.     

I didn't even notice the kids were in cages.  I don't know if it was camera angles or just the more in-you-face stuff with the dancing, although again, other than the pole, I didn't really find it different from most other pop culture dancing.    I did find it a little discordant to have JLo in her extremely skimpy (honestly, I didn't even realize she was wearing opaque flesh colored pants, it didn't seem that way in some of the closer crotch shots) outfits followed by a bunch of young girls in cute white sweats.  

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Overall, when a female singer performs she is wearing considerably fewer clothing than when a male singer performs. It’s not revisionist history.  It’s taking all of the pop music culture as a whole. One guy with his clothes off doesn’t balance out huge majority of women who dress in tiny, sparkly body suits.

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