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Latinx Representation Within the Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show

Football season brings all forms of joy during the fall, but it specifically amps up to the much anticipated Super Bowl at the end of the season. With this comes Super Bowl parties, emotional commercials, endless appetizers, rivaling team spirit, but most importantly the Super Bowl halftime show. 

This year’s performance was headlined by Latin legends Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, with guest appearances from Bad Bunny and J Balvin. The show used energic choreography and instrumental solos stemming from Latin roots and traditions but as the show progressed, many went to twitter with their thoughts and opinions on the show. 

One tweet read “Next time I want to watch a halftime show like that, I’ll just take my family straight to the strip club,”  while another added, “When you have marginal talent you have to take your clothes off.”

Related: My Reaction to “What Makes Latinas So Spicy?” from The Kat Call

While many did not choose to acknowledge that this was the first time the NFL celebrated Latin artists, they did, on the contrary, belittle all the show’s unique additions from Latin culture. One thing in particular that outraged watchers at home was the type of dress both JLo and Shakira chose to wear during their performances, deeming it say too “provocative” for national television and specifically for a family program. What these critics fail to notice is that the type of dress that both artists wore was made to resemble and represent the nations in which both of them originate from with dances native to their hometowns. 

Viewers specifically commented on the dances performed by both artists worrying that the choreography was too explicit for young audiences and contained too much nudity for adolescent viewers. By doing this, critics have suggested that Latin culture is “hypersexualized” and therefore isn’t worth sharing, which isn’t true. As a Latina woman, I am aware of the hypersexualization that we face because of our cultural practices, but for an outsider to establish a rhetoric around a culture of which they are not apart of and deem it as “inappropriate” is ignorance by its definition. 

Latin culture, as shown by the halftime show, is family, having flamboyant national pride, with a big emphasis on community. From the outside looking in and without any effort to learn, anyone can judge what is in front of them and that is the lesson to be learned. My culture is appropriate and does not objectify women, it’s not taboo or scandalous, and it’s far from ordinary so pardon if it’s not Adam Levine’s bare chest. 

Related: Grammy’s Opening Number: Why Representation Matters

The Super Bowl halftime show brought a much needed, and truly overdue, spotlight to what Latin culture is and who Latinx individuals are within society by presenting what we do best, celebrating one another for whom we are. 

Fiorella Izquierdo

George Mason University '23

Fiorella Izquierdo is a senior at George Mason University currently studying Communication with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Graphic Design. She is happiest when she is has a magazine in one hand and a chai latte in the other. Music, film, and fashion are some of her other passions, although she can bake like no other. In the future, Fiorella hopes to work as a creative director and travel the world doing what she loves!
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