JLO and Shakira Turn Viewers’ Heads at Super Bowl LIV

Randy Hansen, Centurion Staff

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s halftime performance at Super Bowl LIV show raised debates over sexual and objectifying choreography.
The performance sparked controversy on social media because of the sexual nature of their dancing and their clothing attire. Their performance included various forms of Latin inspired dancing, but also featured a small portion of pole dancing.
Several viewers and critics have spoken out against their performances. Franklin Graham is a prominent member of the Christian church, and president of Samaritan’s Purse. He publicly posted on social media that he was not pleased with the performances.
Graham wrote, “This exhibition [The Pepsi Halftime show] was showing young girls that sexual exploitation of women is okay.” He continued, “With the exploitation of women on the rise worldwide, instead of lowering the standard, we as a society should be raising it.”
But students here at Bucks seemed to disagree with the online criticism. Nolan Crane, 23, a part time student, did not think think that pole dancing should be categorized as an explicit form of dancing.
Crane said, “I believe Jennifer’s performance during the Super Bowl was appropriate for national television, I don’t see a problem, Jennifer Lopez wanted to express herself and pole dancing is her way of expressing herself.”
Melissa Marks, 20, Bucks student studying communications, believed the NFL got exactly what they wanted when they booked the two performers. Marks said, “Hips don’t lie, that’s her [Shakira’s] thing. That’s what she does.” Marks went on to say “They can express themselves in any way they want.”
Lopez is 50, and Shakira is 43, and students were impressed by the confidence and beauty they displayed during their performances. Some students felt that their performance was an empowering experience.
Kailyn Schaller, 24, said, “I think that in order to make your performance memorable, you have to do something big to stand out. And J-Lo has a huge following of women, and I think that it was empowering to see a 50-year-old woman perform with that much confidence and energy.”
When Lopez was asked about the criticism she responded with class. Lopez said, “Both of us are really respectful performers who are moms and have kids and are very conscious of what we do. We put on a show that I believe was a celebration of women and our Latino culture that I think was really well reserved.”
The halftime show brought in more viewers than the actual game. The Associated Press reported that the Super Bowl had 102 million viewers and the halftime show had 104 million viewers.
The halftime show was a complete ratings success, but with great success, comes great criticism.