Halftime show steals the spotlight during 2020 Super Bowl


Photo courtesy of NPR and the artists

Virginia Suardi

Though the Kansas City Chiefs won the 2020 Super Bowl, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s dynamic halftime show, in my opinion, stole the night. As a music fan who is not very involved in sports, but has to watch the Super Bowl every year “for the tradition”, the halftime show is always my favorite part of the night. Sometimes though, it can be a little disappointing, like when they pair artists that have literally nothing to do with each other. Remember 2016, when they had Coldplay perform next to Beyoncé and Bruno Mars? Exactly. This year, though, Shakira and J Lo broke that awkward tradition and delivered an unforgettable performance. 

The choice of two Latina women to headline the event, which took place in Miami, a city known for its thriving Latin scene, was a perfect match, with the appearances of Reggaeton rappers Bad Bunny and J. Balvin further driving the point home. In this time of prevalent political bigotry against the Latinx community, this jubilant celebration of their culture felt well-deserved and wonderfully refreshing. 

Not only did the performance feel politically energized, but it was impeccably executed. Both women displayed their impressive vocal prowess and dance skills, notably Lopez’s graceful pole-dance interval. They made their way across the stage with confidence and ease, incorporating homages to their respective heritages (Shakira’s now-viral “zaghrouta” moment), glitzy sex appeal, and inspiring messages (J Lo’s “Let’s Get Loud” interlude with her daughter.) 

Overall, the only thing the haters had to say about the show was that it was supposed to be “family-friendly” and that the performance was too sexually charged. But hang on: didn’t Adam Levine and Travis Scott have their shirts off at last year’s performance? And didn’t Justin Timberlake get hired to do half-time last year even after exposing Janet Jackson’s breast on national television in 2004? There always seems to be a double standard for female performers, especially towards middle-aged women.

Instead of shaming women for their sexuality, we should celebrate J Lo and Shakira for their confidence and showmanship. The duo’s glittering outfits, powerful energy, and unapologetic sexuality made for an amazing half-time performance: one that all performers, regardless of gender, should aspire to. •