The Super Bowl is one of my favorite times of the year.
Drinking beer and eating sodium-filled snacks, all while pretending to know who’s who and what’s happening and rooting for the Broncos, regardless of whether they’re playing or not.
I’m really in it for two things — the commercials and the half time show.
Unfortunately, due to working a late shift, I missed the annual celebration.
Thank God for YouTube.
All I knew about the Super Bowl’s LIV halftime show was that J. Lo and Shakira were going to perform. Through the internet grapevine and people who witnessed it firsthand, it seemed like the performance was risque.
Pole dancing, children in cages, lots of shaking of the rear end … people made it seem like it was a night during the height of Mardis Gras on Bourbon Street.
One review of an opinion columnist from the New York Post, Phil Mushnick called the show “highly inappropriate” and “female objectifying.” He questioned the motives of J. Lo’s pole dancing, asking “Little girls should aspire to be strippers?”
Others were speculating that Jay Z was silently protesting by not standing during the national anthem performed by Demi Lovato.
There’s even a minister, Dave Daubenmire, threatening to sue the NFL for the show. He was upset about the lack of warnings of the “crotch shots flying everywhere” during their performance.
Well, I wanted to judge it for myself.
I waited until it was my weekend to fully recreate my own little Super Bowl celebration … well, without the football part. I grabbed some ranch-flavored Bugles and a couple Lonely Blondes (that’s a beer) and pulled up the performance.
And, guys, I got goosebumps watching it. It was everything. Nostalgic hits from the late 90s (“Ojos Así” by Shakira) to mid-2000s “Jenny From the Block” and “Hips Don’t Lie.”
The dancing was great. Music was awesome. Costumes were right on the money for belly dancing and club hits.
And, it featured strong, beautiful Latinx women in the music industry, supported by Latinx rappers Bad Bunny and J Balvin.
There was some pole dancing that J. Lo absolutely rocked, and was also a nod to her part in the film “Hustlers,” in which she portrays a dancer.
There definitely was some butt shaking, which makes sense since they were doing salsa and belly dancing.
And I mean, I guess you can call their costumes “revealing” but if I looked like J. Lo at 50 or Shakira at 43, you’d be dang certain I’d be proud to show that off, too.
But the one part that sent chills down my spine were the children shown in cages — a commentary of the children put in cages held at the border.
J. Lo’s daughter, Emme, also in a cage, began to sing “Let’s Get Loud,” with Shakira playing drums.
Then J. Lo came out yelling, “Latinos! Let’s get loud!” dawning a coat with the Puerto Rican flag on the inside and a USA flag on the outside while Emme sang Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.”
I’m getting goosebumps just writing about it. I had never felt so proud to be Hispanic, and to be represented at the Super Bowl in such a poignant and beautiful performance.
I didn’t see the lewdness that everyone was talking about. I saw a celebration of Latinx culture and women.
As for Jay Z not standing? The guy was just working, focusing on the performers and assuring it would be the best performance out there, since his company Roc Nation, was producing the show.
Not standing during the national anthem, he said, “just happened,” as he responded to a Q&A session at Columbia University.
“I didn’t have to make a silent protest. If you look at the stage, the artists that we chose, Colombian [Shakira], Puerto Rican JLo ... we were making the biggest, loudest protest of all,” he said.
Dang right — viva la raza!
Diana Rojo-Garcia can be reached at 507.344.6305 or email@example.com.