Last night Super Bowl became diverse…. and uncomfortable.

So Super Bowl 2020 happened but not before two Latina women made most people clutch their pearls and made them supremely uncomfortable with the thought,

“What did I just watch?”

But more importantly,

“Why am I so uncomfortable with what I just watched?”

The second question is probably only bothering people with introspection and self-analysis. As a preface to what follows here, I think people who are acknowledging the second question and really giving it a moment of their busy day will truly make compassion, tolerance and acceptance go up by many notches in the future.

So this is my opinion and probably won’t be many other people’s which is okay.

And it’s not so much an opinion than a musing of sorts. What are people objecting to? What happened there that doesn’t happen almost every Sunday at the NFL? What did Shakira and Jennifer Lopez do that created some abominable example of women in society? There were kids shown in cages but the message is still “naked women?” But were they really naked? Was it really inappropriate? I’ve seen many housewives on the Bravo show dancing on poles casually and no one bats an eyelash. Then why was a performer, who actually masters this art to make money and show her talent off of it, held to a different standard?

For reference, I’m a Muslim woman who dresses as modestly as she can. Because I’m currently not sure of being completely in compliance with other Islamic values and would like to score some points off of Islam’s instructions to follow a garb that covers my body as best as it can, I focus on dressing modestly therefore did I think the two women were scantily dressed? Yes.

Was it provocative for me? No!

Was it the first time I saw a performer/entertainer/singer in clothes that didn’t cover their body completely? No.

Can I judge anyone’s intentions or what they advocate for just by watching them on TV carry out a performance? No.

For everyone who is criticizing them for sexualizing their performance and that it wasn’t children-appropriate! Not everything is child-appropriate. I use the remote. My kids don’t have to watch everything. It’s not like I was sitting in the audience. I was home. I still didn’t change the channel but that’s just a suggestion for the future for parents who are stricter than I am.

I have seen similar outfits on cheerleaders every Sunday and have really not changed the channel then. So I didn’t change the channel last night either. I don’t want my kids to learn that some people are okay being dressed a certain way and others aren’t. I don’t want my kids to see the cheerleaders as any different from the performers last night. It’s all a performance. We are all equal and have the right to dress however we like.

I also wanted my children to see that this country is big enough for all of us. That I don’t have to get offended by things that others are doing that are harmless. I didn’t think my kids were learning about sex. They’ve seen more on the beach and didn’t ask about sex.

I also thought of all the times I’ve heard dirty lyrics blaring out of car windows and didn’t automatically think about sex.

And what if my kids thought about sex? That’s not on Shakira and JLo. They’re my kids and if they asked about sex afterwards then I’ll answer their questions without cursing at those two women. My kids could’ve asked about sex after watching the dog humping the pillow. No one can tell what makes us have questions about something.

Really it’s all irrelevant talk about inappropriateness and sexual propriety and what’s proper and good for television.

Really the discomfort is something else. The discomfort is one that we have deep in our hearts and minds. It’s not a bias that we want to acknowledge. Because it would make us look prejudiced to ourselves. This anger at the costumes is displaced. This anger is about how we are fast losing tolerance for diversity and difference.

But here’s my breakdown of the bias after hearing radio and social media comments. Thanks for reading so far. Skip the next part if you haven’t asked yourselves the second question that I’ve mentioned above.

It was a show. A remarkably flawlessly executed show. It was entertainment. It was two strong successful women. It was two strong older successful women. It was two strong older successful women performing at a game night that’s one of the proudest and fanciest American social traditions. It was two strong older successful Latina women performing at a game night that’s one of the proudest and fanciest social American traditions.

That’s all it was. To me it was a spectacular show by two awesome women who have been trailblazers. But to some it was more than that. That’s what we need to answer to ourselves in order to better raise our children in a diverse world.


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