I don’t know about you but I have been very amused by the way media highlighted, almost in shock and amazement, the sexiness of J.Lo and Shakira rocking at the Super Bowl Half Time Show last Sunday. The unwritten assumption was that middle-aged women can’t be so cool because they are supposed to be old and dusted.
Yes, according to the usual stereotypes, it looks like women of a certain age can’t be hot. Strange, because there are a lot of glamorous ladies out there who can still look this good and “these women, stunning in their sparkly unitards – as Vanessa Friedman writes in the New York Times– proved that dressing your age has become a meaningless aphorism”.
Dressed in a sequined, ruby-red outfit with matching boots, Shakira led her team of dancers through snippets of hits such as “Whenever, Wherever” and “Hips Don’t Lie” before giving way to J-Lo. Lopez made her entrance in black leather and studs on a stage set resembling the top of the Empire State Building, as “Jenny from the Block” proudly announced she was from the Bronx, New York.
Most of the time, what people forget is that usually, it’s not the way you look or the way you move your hips that make you turn into a goddess. Shakira and J.Lo at the Halftime Show were exhibiting the culmination of a lifetime’s worth of work and talent (as well as showing off their gorgeous bodies). The pair have been training for weeks, rehearsing for the big show in Miami: from vigorous cardio to lifting weights. In the end, as Jennifer Lopez said, “it’s really how you feel inside. Yes, I’m 50, but I also feel very youthful. I don’t think we have to be defined by all the labels that people want to put on us, especially age. At some point, I’m going to age. But, right now, I’m holding it together”.
Yet again, debates couldn’t stop raging over whether the show featuring those pop stars was over-sexualized or liberating. It was neither. According to CNN: “the Super Bowl Half Time Show wasn’t about sexualizing American culture, nor was it about equality. Mostly, it was an advertisement for J-Lo, Shakira, and the NFL”.
Being over-obsessed with their look, we risk missing another important milestone for women. According to Reuters, this year’s Super Bowl broke ground for women in high places, including in the ownership of both teams (Denise York of the 49ers and Norma Hunt of the Chiefs), and on the sidelines, where San Francisco’s offensive assistant Katie Sowers became the first woman to coach in a Super Bowl.