So here’s the deal… you know I’ve got to weigh in on the whole Super Bowl halftime show because EVERYONE is doing it and I want to be like everyone else.
Wait a sec…
Do I? Or would I rather think for myself?
Come with me for a sec… So we’ve got two schools of thought from what I’ve observed in my albeit limited research (aka Facebook scanning) on the internet in regards to how we’re collectively feeling about the bedazzled booty shaking that went on…
- Women power! Go them! They’re super hot! Women rule!
- Eww gross, my daughter was watching! How dare they!
I don’t really fall into either camp, but I can see the merit on both sides of the argument… kind of. I’m a mom of a daughter, and I’m the mom of two sons and yes, they were watching the half time show with me. Was it too much crotch in the camera for me? Yea, it was too much crotch for me. Does she have the right to get up there and quite literally shake her “money maker?” She sure does, and if that’s what she wants to do it, more power to her! But is it “empowering?”… the jury’s out. But we’ll come back to that.
Here’s how I handled it as a mom who loves Jesus. I asked Cadence, my 8 year old, if dressing like that made J Lo famous or if it made God famous. She missed zero beats and agreed it made only J Lo famous. That’s pretty accurate. I asked Cadence if she’s ever seen me dress like that. She said no. (She didn’t know me when I was twenty-one, so take that into consideration). I asked her if she thinks she should dress like that. She said no with a very disgusted look on her face. Okay, good! That issue is addressed and handled.
I fear that as parents, we’re too focused on raising kids rather than raising adults. And I fear that as parents, we’re preparing our kids for a world that doesn’t exist. Here’s the reality friends: This world is fallen. It’s broken. It’s not fair. People are mistreated. People are undervalued. Evil exists. And women wear bedazzled underwear (and nothing else) on National TV. That’s the world. Our kids, who will be adults before we know it, need to be ready to live in it. We can’t shelter them from it and we can’t make other people adhere to how we feel the world should be. But we can prepare them for how to deal with it, how to feel about it, and how to act within it.
So that’s one side…
On the other hand, though, I wonder if the whole message of women’s equality during the commercial breaks was slightly undermined by the near nudity at half time. Hear me out on this… if we want men to treat us as equals in the professional world, if we want them to respect us, perhaps we should start with respecting ourselves? Just a thought. So no, I don’t think that the fact that Adam Levine took his shirt off last year has anything to do with J Lo taking her clothes off this year because I don’t think that’s really the point. Do we want equality in how sexy we are as genders? Do we want equality in how women can do what men can do? Do we want equality in erasing double standards (because gooooooood luck with that one)? Or do we want equality in R E S P E C T? Men and women equally respected as professionals in the work place, as parents in the home, and generally everywhere else. We can go ahead and check the box that women are respected equally as sex symbols. That issue is settled. We can get just as naked as men can! Go US! Except that… I just don’t think that my male boss or co-worker would respect me MORE for wearing LESS.
As a matter of fact, I don’t think this only applies to men in a professional sense. I would wager to bet that wearing less doesn’t really make any man, anywhere respect me more. Women… they might respect me more… but honestly, I kind of doubt it!
But if J Lo does it… We cheer her on as empowering women? You know you’d judge her if she were just a regular gal at the club, come on now.
Y’all, I’m a woman. And in my experience (and this is not everyone’s experience) I felt less empowered when I dressed provocatively. Oh sure, in my twenties and in the moment, I felt feelings that felt like empowerment, but what those feelings really stemmed from was insecurity. I discovered around fourteen years old that my body got attention when I showed it off. I discovered that I had power when I used my body. Is this empowerment? I mean… I suppose you could argue that, but it was the beginning of a dangerous slippery slope for me.
The more I got attention and recognized my power, the more my deep down insecurity grew that perhaps the ONLY power I had was in my body. Perhaps the ONLY reason anyone liked me or wanted to be with me was because of my body. It meant I struggled with eating and dieting from a young age. It meant that I wore lower cut shirts and higher skirts, because YES it made me FEEL like I had power, but I wasn’t “empowered.”
What I longed for was R E S P E C T! From men and women alike!
And once I started to respect myself a little bit and cover up, while leaning into other parts of me that were awesome (there are just so many), I started to recognize that there are other ways to be sexy!!! Nudity, although sexy, is NOT the only way to get attention! Being funny is empowering AND sexy! Being smart is empowering AND sexy! Being successful is empowering AND sexy!
Just because the culture tells us that we should be able to bend over on National TV and show our ass, doesn’t mean that we SHOULD do that. Be careful not to fall in line with what our culture tells you is ‘women power!’ And just because people are calling J Lo empowered, doesn’t mean that there is not more than one way to skin a cat my friends.
Y’all, I knew J Lo was a hot 51 year old before I saw her nearly naked!!! She’s hot! I get it! But in my opinion, she was hotter on Saturday!
And speaking of what everyone is saying and doing… the REAL reason I was generally unimpressed by the halftime show was not because of the half naked ladies, it’s not because they cut from half naked ladies to kids singing, it’s not because they literally played into the hands of the sex slavery that is happening behind the scenes at the Super Bowl, but rather it’s because it’s PLAYED OUT!
Come on, Y’all, ever since LL Cool J was licking his lips and watching girls dancing on poles in his music videos back in the early 2000’s, we’ve seen this show 3,947,575 times. Do you know what I remember from the Super Bowl? When Whitney Houston blew it UP with arguably the BEST rendition of the National Anthem America has ever seen. Talent is empowering AND sexy! Girl earned my respect and applause! I also think of Michael Jackson’s halftime show where he had the stands singing ‘We are the world!’ That man had it going on that day! And even though it was met with a lot of criticism, when Justin Timberlake sang with the hologram of Prince in 2018, at least it was NEW. At least it was something we haven’t seen before!
If you’re going to make headlines, do it by being unique. Do it by doing something different. Being naked and causing a stir… come on… it’s been done.
So yea, it was too much crotch for me. No, I don’t think my kids are scarred… it’s the world they’ll be forced to navigate integrity in… and yes, those gals should be allowed to do whatever the heck they see fit with their five minutes… but could they have empowered women in another way? Yea, I think probably.