Words by Jaquelin Bautista
Graphics by Aspasia Celia Tsampas
This year the Super Bowl halftime show starred Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, and special appearances from Bad Bunny and J Balvin. Many people have a sincere appreciation for the Super Bowl strictly for the performances during the halftime show. This year’s performance was highly anticipated for its nostalgic 1990s hits. The performances were rich with the celebrities’ cultures from Puerto Rico, Colombia, and even Lebanese.
Viewers were overwhelmed with the amount of love the Latinx community received during the show. Even celebrities such as Camilla Cabello were feeling impacted and inspired. She shared a series of photos on her Instagram congratulating the Halftime and National Anthem Performances.
“I was in awe last night watching these two vibrant, powerful, inspiring Latina women put on a show for the world last night!!!!! @shakira @jlo thank you for showing girls everywhere that you can be whoever you want to be in this life- and do it with grace, strength, joy, kindness,and a whole lot of badassness!!!…”
“… @ddlovato you sang the anthem so gorgeously, with so much confidence and grace in your eyes, thank you for inspiring us all on this stage…”
Some, on the other hand, took to Twitter to complain about the representation.
The artist performing consistently showcased their Latinx roots by speaking in Spanish, dancing salsa and, shouting “Latino Gang’ and even bringing out the Purtrican Flag. It was truly a magical moment to see communities come together at one of the most viewed broadcast sports events in America.
Many children of color grow up constantly seeing their communities depicted negatively in the media. The Latinx community, for example, has consistently seen headlines about caged immigrants at the border, horrendous images including a father and daughter drowning in a river in an attempt to escape their impoverished country.
This year’s Halftime show did more than entertain. It served as a reminder that we are all united. Shakira and Jeniffer Lopez had hoped to send an empowering message to showcase the power of love.
Lopez states “…we have to love each other and we have to be together and we have to support each other and we can’t be so at odds all the time,” J.Lo said. “And I think that’s part of our mission and our message, too.”
There were many powerful messages impeded in the theatrics of their performances. Lopez pays homage to Puerto Rico even during Lopez’s daughters, Emme’s, performance she can be seen sitting in a cage, referencing the current state in which border security is imprisoning children.
Despite all of the diversity and representation, some viewers were deeply offended by the alleged sexual misconduct and provocative behavior. About the artist dances which included significant hip action, there were many complaints about the appropriateness of it. While this argument can be left up for debate because the concept of appropriateness is subjective.
These dances may seem inappropriate to a person who has not been exposed to such movements, while those who have experienced these dances in their culture are not offended or appalled -but rather touched to see their culture on the screen.
This was a huge moment in history, where we were able to see two cultures merge. Some Individuals live in two cultures, learning from the two and developing a unique identity that encapsulates a range of values, traditions, and morals. The 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Performance was nothing more than a mere reflection of the essence of America. The ability to be as you are and the power of unity.