Two Prowl reporters debate the quality of the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show


Al Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed at the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, Feb. 2.  

The 2020 Super Bowl halftime show sparked reactions from many of the people watching it. Prowl reporters Whitney Jones and Jenna Hillman go head-to-head in a discussion about the performance.

For (Written by Prowl Reporter Whitney Jones)

Amazing. Empowering. Celebration of culture. The 2020 Super Bowl halftime show was a lot of things, but terrible was not one of them.

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez have inspired me from a young age, and they without a doubt are an inspiration for many others as well. I was not at all disappointed in the quality of the halftime show this year, I was impressed.

Let me be the first to say it, but Jennifer Lopez and Shakira sitting on a stool in turtlenecks would not make a halftime show great. Both women have made careers of being bold, unapologetic and confident. The Super Bowl is neither the time nor place to change that or play it safe in fear of offending a few meet people.

Just last year, Adam Levine ripped off his shirt during his halftime performance and was praised for it. This year however, these pop sensations wear some risqué clothes and get slammed by virtually everyone. It’s a double standard and people need to realize this.

“Both of us are really respectful performers who are moms and have kids, and are very conscious of what we do,” Lopez said during an interview with Variety magazine. “We did a show that I believe was a celebration of women and our Latino culture.”

The high energy choreography was empowering. It made me feel as if I, as a woman, could accomplish anything.

“The message of standing up for yourself, being a woman, that’s what I want to pass on to little girls… everything about you – be proud of it,” Lopez said in the same interview. “I’m very proud of the performance that night.”

Where many say they are promoting the objectification and sexualization of women, that was not the intended message. Often, women do not have a say in how people, men in particular, respond to their actions. This is usually in a sexual manner and is quite disrespectful in every context.

However, this is where it becomes empowering. These talented women decided not only to show off their own bodies, but how to act in front of millions of people, 104 million to be exact. They knew the impact it would cause and the controversy it would create.

When two very popular women perform on the exact same stage that Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5 and Coldplay have, it is perceived in a negative manner. So many people are fixated on the appearance of the women, rather than the substance of them and what they stand for. This show was arguably the most diverse it has ever been.

There is no need to shame women for embracing their culture, especially in this day and age where equality is trying to be achieved

On top of that, nobody seems to talk about how Jennifer Lopez brought out her daughter into this supposedly inappropriate environment. Emme, 11 years old, sang her heart out and proved that the halftime show was, in fact, a family friendly environment. If a mother was comfortable dancing on a pole with her daughter just feet away, then parents should feel no need to censor this event on television.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira did nothing wrong nor inappropriate. They simply embraced their culture and provided great examples for younger women and girls. It was a great honor to watch these women use their platform to inspire body positivity and cultural diversity. The Super Bowl halftime was nothing short of amazing, and you should feel the same.

Against (Written by Prowl Reporter Jenna Hillman)

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira are without a doubt extremely talented singers and performers. These women inspire countless people across the globe, including myself. However, although the majority of it was entertaining and brought attention to Latino culture, I have to say I was not very impressed with the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show.

Throughout the spectacle, Lopez drew attention to her groin by pelvic thrusting and pole danced during her song “Waiting for Tonight.” Overall Lopez and Shakira danced in a provocative manner and wore bawdy attire during their performance. I learned at a young age, there’s a time and place for everything.

The halftime show sexualized these women and certainly somewhat supported the fact that women are often primarily viewed in a sexual demeanor.

So many women are currently fighting for gender equality. For example, Malala Yousafzai was publicly shot in the face after petitioning for Pakistan girls’ right to go to school. Michelle Bachelet, the first female president of Chile, has relentlessly campaigned for women’s rights throughout her entire life.

I don’t see how women fighting for gender equality, recognition for accomplishments and the ability to be taken seriously for actions and professions that are not sexually related were supported by the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show.

Many argue that the show was meant to honor Latino culture. This would make sense if this perspective is referring to the lyrics that were sung in Spanish or belly-dancing but can’t the this culture be celebrated without pole dancing?

According to Christian Headlines, Melissa Henson, program director for the Parents Television Council says, “I’ve seen a lot of commentary saying it was a celebration of Latin culture, but I can’t help but think that if Gloria Estefan had been there on the stage, we wouldn’t have been seeing that. So I don’t necessarily see this as a celebration of Latin culture so much as really just sexualized – and inappropriately so – for what should be something that you can watch with the whole family.”

Although it is not the first time we have seen these seductive dances; it is unfortunate they transpired in front of millions of people, especially younger viewers.

According to The Federalist, Emily Jashinsky states, “Kids are watching with their parents. The performance shouldn’t make that awkward or jeopardize children’s ability to enjoy the show with their families.”

Shakira and Lopez were given the honor to perform at the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show and did successfully bring attention to Latino culture. But it is unfortunate they also used this popular platform to perform in a seductive way which of course damaged the reputation for women who fight so hard to not be viewed as just sexual objects.