Politics, Moderate



Shakira and J. Lo delivered food for thought in their melting pot masterpiece

Esther J. Cepeda on

CHICAGO -- Amid the frenzy of reactions to Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's Super Bowl half-time show, I saw several people on social media wondering who could possibly have clutched their pearls about, arguably, the most athletic performance of the night.

Guilty as charged.

This was the first year I didn't watch the broadcast with my parents and sons, and I was so grateful, because I would have been incredibly uncomfortable and embarrassed sitting next to them during the butt shaking, twerking, pole dancing and crotch thrusting.

But, that's just me.

Growing up in a Hispanic household, Spanish language TV channels brought shows like the infamous "Sábado Gigante" -- and its bevy of string-bikinied eye candy -- right into my kitchen and living room. These days you can't even watch the weather report on Latino cable channels without being confronted by incredibly proportioned and scandalously clad meteorological goddesses.

Basically, I've been tyrannized by Latina beauty my whole life.


From my cousins teasing me about not having anything like the breasts "all" Latinas are supposed to be endowed with, to my family members constantly remarking on my fatness or lack of Latina "style" (I was an 80s new-waver who adored gothy, boyish, black clothes and accessories), I was regularly shamed when I was held up against the ideals of Latina beauty.

It was super weird to me that I was expected to aspire to wearing skimpy clothes, lots of make-up and to dance in a suggestive manner. But if I had done this, I'd likely have been called a slut for it. In a devout Catholic family, that was not right. (And, the fact I was super-secretly lusting after all those sexy Latinas was problematic as well, because being bi- or homosexual was definitely not right.)

So, yeah, as an "out" gender-fluid, pansexual, 45-year-old feminist, J. Lo and Shakira's butt-shaking elicited many, many feelings.

Not that the show was too inappropriate -- it's an evening performance during one of the most violent, trauma-inducing games in the world. Anyone worried about their little kids being exposed to content not right for young children should have kept them away.


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