Last Sunday, Jennifer Lopez took over the world with her half-time performance alongside the one-and-only Shakira at the 2020 Super Bowl. The show was a roaring success – not only for the spectacular display of sparkle, talent and stamina, but for its celebration of diversity on a global stage.
But, despite the fact that the show has received primarily rave reviews, there were still a few critics who decided to ignore all the incredible, ground-breaking work that went into the performance, instead choosing to criticise the show for being “too sexy”. Honestly.
While J. Lo could have left this massive eye-roll moment to fester in its own misogyny, the actor, singer and all-around legend chose to use the moment to turn the spotlight back on the work herself and Shakira put into the performance – and spread an incredibly important message while doing so.
“I think that’s honestly silliness,” Lopez told Variety when asked about the “too sexy” comments. “Both of us are really respectful performers who are moms and have kids and are very conscious of what we do. We [put on] a show that I believe was a celebration of women and our Latino culture that I think was really well reserved. And that small faction of people who want to be negative about it, it’s not something I can even let in, because it was such an amazing night – so many beautiful things came out of it.”
She continued: “The message of standing up for yourself, being a woman – that’s what I want to pass on to the little girls – you’re strong, you’re beautiful. Everything about you, be proud of it.
“I’m very proud of the performance that night.”
Besides the fact that Lopez refuses to let the critics place a dampener on such an iconic performance and experience for her, the message she has for the young girls watching her is seriously important. Seeing people in the spotlight owning their identity – whether that be their gender, ethnicity, age or culture – leads the way for others to do the same.
“I want [the audience] to feel joyful… that they just went to a great all-inclusive party, a party that integrates cultures and diversity,” she said. “I feel truly honoured to be representing so many people out there. Women, Latinas and people of any ages. I think that J.Lo and I are here redefining paradigms about age, about race, about background.
“It doesn’t really matter where you’re from, how old you are… what matters is what you have to say. And we’re here, and we have a lot of stuff to say.”