Too hot for TV? Too sensitive to watch? Too much for family Super Bowl entertainment? Yes, yes, yes. Welcome to showbiz, kids.
Yes, I’m going talk Jennifer Lopez and Shakira a la what they shook at us for Super Bowl 2020 because the internets are going wild, because I’ve read everything, because I watched the performance 3 times now (true!) and because this blog also serves as a journal for what/how I think as a mom — a way for me to either say ‘right on, you were right’ or ‘hell no, you were crazy’ years from now when I look back on parenting my girls, after they’re grown…
My quick response amidst all the media+mom+Facebook chatter: That halftime show was LIT. Superhuman. I loved it. (And I’m just as shocked as you are…)
Truth is, I like to feel smacked against the back wall in sheer amazement, like a hurricane of energy just hit me, after I watch any kind of performance… and that’s how I felt after watching this. Gut reaction, can’t help it.
I first saw this now-infamous show at our church hall with my kids, fellow Sunday School teachers, our priest and other families of all ages and really didn’t feel all that weird — yes, there were *3 parts* when I winced and thought “ooooh no are they going to push it trashy right here?” but then they changed direction, swapped costumes and kept it all moving. WATCH IT.
Would this have been a first pick for my young daughters to see during Super Bowl? Not so much. (Lady Gaga won that back in 2017.) But let’s be honest and admit that we all know much better than to expect anything totally child-friendly when two of Hollywood’s sexiest women (hot! Latina! dancers!) are hired for a Super Bowl show in Miami and charged to make huge headlines leading up to, during and after.
From a PERFORMANCE perspective (because I can’t watch anything without it — I danced/sang onstage for 25 years before working in TV/media):
- What they did takes ENDURANCE. Let me repeat: This. Was. Hard. Flippin.’ WORK.
- Dance costumes are not real life, always involve glitzy leotards and/or bodysuits and sometimes ride up our cheeks during performances. It’s part of a live stage show thrill (#sorrynotsorry).
- Yeah, JLo was on that pole (which could’ve been omitted and the show would’ve been just as incredible)… but if you *just watch* she really didn’t do much of anything salacious except extend her leg, swing her hair and sing (nearly-impossible if you think about how much core strength it takes to just prop yourself up on a pole). The whole thing was a tease for public/media chatter. And, did she really grab her crotch strutting downstage in that black (first) outfit or was she just putting her hand in front of that ‘area’ to minimize the visibility for how the camera angle would look from shooting from below?? Because you know JLo knows her camera angles. I’m being serious. (Watch the video — her hand doesn’t grab, it’s just there…. illusion for heated debate, people.)
- Shakira shook it all over the place, belly-danced and did that Lebanese ‘party call’ during her closeup — so what, who cares, that’s what Shakira does, some of my Armenians in our church hall yelled back at her and laughed. Disappointing that she *did* seem to lip sync a few songs (Whenever, Wherever) but this was clearly more of a DANCE SHOW rather than any kind of a vocal showcase here.
From a MOM perspective (because, hello, kind of everything I’m about these days):
- I reminded my girls the dancing we watched is ‘grownup dancing’ — as in, if they do any incarnation of this with other kids or anywhere in public at any time, they’ll get in major trouble. Because dancing like that is not appropriate for real life.
- No, they didn’t understand the pole. As far as I’m concerned, it was a prop for media shots to be splashed across the internet the next day…
- We talked about how hard all the dancers trained to put up that show. Rehearsals. Focus. And don’t forget how many people it takes to do that kind of lighting and sound….
- We talked about how Shakira and JLo are also mommies and that doing a show like this is their job — they are ‘pretending’ onstage and don’t act like this every day.
- JLo bringing her daughter to sing made me cry in a most mommy-proud way. YES: Train your girl’s talents and bring her up with you because none of our daughters should ever feel like they’re in mom’s shadow.
I was unexpectedly happy-smacked by how these two powerhouse performers pulled this whole thing off at the ages they are now — stellar revenge (for all of us) for how show-business can suck the life and joy out of anyone attempting to stay in it beyond the age of 35.
Would I perform this? HELL NO. But there’s fun-sexy entertainment and trashy-sexy entertainment — I thought this was more fun-sexy. (I didn’t particularly care for the ‘political statement’ with the flag and am not feeding into what so many are talking about online about ‘kids in cages’ serving as commentary for our immigration issues here in the USA — stop it already. I also wish those two men rapper/singers were cut out completely — the most degrading parts happened when those guys were onstage.) Bottom line: Nothing truly traumatizing went down — which is more than I can say for when Adam Levine ripped his shirt off to show a repulsive display of naked & obnoxious tattoos on that same stage last year (yuck). Additionally, this wasn’t Miley Cyrus’s degrading soft-porn grind-down with Robin Thicke at the 2013 VMAs nor was it Arianna Grande’s ongoing wannabe sex-goddess struts onstage, in platform heels she can’t even walk in, at every single awards show now.
I’m realizing that I was probably swept away by what Shakira and Jennifer did, against my usual judgement, because of the ages and stages in life they’re at now.
At 43 and 50, Shakira and JLo pushed star power talents, total glam and unbelievable energy *right up to the limit, but not really beyond, what can be broadcast on TV these days* to give us something to talk about and shout at each other for a whole week. And, we all know we’ve seen much more than this…
My last real question is: I’m curious as hell to know what their own moms thought?