The halftime show at Sunday’s superbowl, featuring empowered Latina artists Shakira and Jennifer Lopez has garnered some pretty harsh criticism over the past 12 hours, and I’m here going “WHY?”
Okay folks, (ladies, gentlemen, non-binaries…i.e. ALL YA’LL) I have a question for you. Why are we still shaming women for being sexy? Why is this still happening in 2020, 100 years since we finally, after picketing, marching, protesting, being arrested, violated, beaten and oppressed, obtained the legal right to vote? We are still fighting for personhood, fair wages, the rights to our own reproductive body systems, whether we even want to have children, husbands or careers! We need to be using our voices together, as one, united to support each other, not tearing each other down for what we WEAR or how we dance! Lordt, help me! We’ve been fighting that dialogue for centuries. Isn’t it time to end it now? Are we still the puritanical, patriarchal, women-objectifying mass majority or are we evolving, shifting and changing that ridiculous and outmoded belief system? (insert lengthy history of women’s rights and oppression, trans rights, and include “nasty woman” witticism here)
From Mo Mo @molratty
“Is there a middle ground between “the Superbowl halftime show was literally sex trafficking” and “it’s the most empowering thing for women I’ve ever seen and I’m thrilled I was watching it with my 10 YO son”? Because that’s where I am.”
What I saw on that stage were extremely talented entertainers who have been known for provocative dance and singing for their ENTIRE careers. And they were kicking ass – Representing their culture through music, dance, movement, color, fashion and flair. They were leaving it all on the stage. It takes YEARS of discipline, training and dedication to hone bodies and dance at that level. The belly dancing alone…. This performance wasn’t anything new for either of them, excepting that it was on a (only slightly) grander scale perhaps than their world tours have been. (and let’s not miss the subtle and punchy political statement JLo made during hers) Shakira and Jennifer are working mothers. 43 and 50. That’s authenticity. That’s personal power. That’s freaking MAGIC.
I hear the critics in the back. “But it was supposed to be a family show.” It was. If you’re questioning that – take a look at the cheerleaders at ANY game. How is that different?
Is it a different conversation to have with your daughters and sons about why the cheerleaders are scantily dressed and gyrating to music? Is it?? For that matter, there were just as many male dancers as women out there who were halfway dressed as well. Were they acceptable? Last year, Adam Levine was completely shirtless. Was that okay? It seems to me that all of these performances, should you choose to watch them and have your children watch with you, are teachable moments and times to lean in to a conversation with your children. Those moments are powerful, engaging and can be, should be, enlightening.
I also understand the conversation about objectifying and sexualizing the female form. I get it. It’s a line we are walking to both break away from that toxic paradigm and build a new, healthy, authentic, empowered, intelligent, independent definition of women. One in which we are safe to walk to our cars at night, respected as people, not fondled by folks on their way to the toilet, in tight spaces and groped while standing in line at the grocery store. Listen, the answer isn’t to button up, cover up and pretend we aren’t sexy. Why can’t we be both POWERFUL and SEXY? Why can’t we be a MOTHER and a LOVER? Why can’t we be both a DIVA and a PRIESTESS? Short answer: We can be. We already are. We are the perfect union of the sacred and the sexual. It is long past time to TAKE THE POWER BACK. There are so many good people fighting these battles, large and small, and at least two of them were on a very big stage last night, showing us how it can be done. It’s time for the BOTH/AND belief system to take the place of the EITHER/OR.
I invite you to, if you are so inclined, investigate your emotions around this. Where is your discomfort coming from? Is it fear? Is it jealousy? Is it disgust or shame? Is it anger? Go deeper. Look underneath that fear and anger. What else is there? Was there a time in your life that something happened to you to make you want to “tone it down” “cover up” “dim your light” “be quiet” ? I know there was for me. Nine out of 10 women I know, and at least one in every three men and ALL of the non-binary people I know have had something happen to them that made them feel the need to cover up and quiet down to protect themselves.
Here is some magic: Put your right hand on your navel then scoot it down two inches to cover your 2nd Chakra – your sacral chakra. Put your left hand over your right. Close your eyes. Take three, slow deep breaths. Imagine warm orange light moving freely through your hands and belly. Say these words aloud:
I AM the perfect union of the Sacred and the Sexual.
I release, I release, I release any and all situations, circumstances, incidents and people;
Agreements, beliefs, thought systems and realities
Whereby I am anything less than the perfect union of the sacred and the sexual.
I claim the full power, beauty and wisdom of my creative fire.
Amen. A’ho And So it is.
Repeat as many times as necessary. You’ll know.
And in the meantime, lift a sister up.