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Decorum, decency out of sight in half-time show

My Opinion
Decorum, decency out of sight in half-time show
Decorum, decency out of sight in half-time show
Stephanie Taylor Ferriell
Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Senior Staff Writer, [email protected]

There’s one phrase that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira must have been trying to live up to with their Super Bowl half-time performances. “If you’ve got it, flaunt it,” sure came to mind as I watched them gyrate suggestively, slither around poles and shake their backsides for the cameras.

My kids stared at the TV, mouths agape. My 10-year-old daughter commented, “Mom, that’s inappropriate.”

She was 100% correct.

It was completely inappropriate for a game watched by millions of families, families with impressionable young children. Displays such as this are unhealthy for both boys and girls. Boys do not need to see this representation of females. Girls do not need this example of conduct or attire.

Yes, we all have the option of changing channels, but that’s missing the point. We shouldn’t have to have remote in hand, ready to hit the button, during one of the nation’s biggest sporting events of the year. The half-time show symbolizes much about our culture and society, a great deal of it quite troubling.

Performances like this are degrading to women, objectifying the female form and displaying a standard 99% of us could never achieve, even if we tried. The sexually-suggestive movements don’t add to the performance but, rather, detract from the skill and training necessary to dance at this level.

It’s very sad that sex trafficking is a major part of the Super Bowl. Last year, in the 11 days leading up to the game, 169 people were arrested on sex-trafficking charges in Atlanta, Ga., including 34 who were trying to engage in sexual acts with minors, according to a story in The Washington Post.

Florida, where Super Bowl LIV was played in Miami, ranks third in the United States in sex trafficking, according to the National Human Trafficking Center. Explicit shows such as this year’s half-time performance only feed the mindset that girls and women are objects to be enjoyed by men.

I enjoy J.Lo’s and Shakira’s music. They are incredibly talented and successful women. They are drop-dead gorgeous from head to toe. They are adored by legions of fans, many of them young girls who want to be just like them.

That’s the disturbing part.

Whether you’re a music star, an actor, a politician — anyone with celebrity status — with the fame and fortune come a responsibility. It seems that used to be a given in our country, and most of the people in these positions used to value being role models, or at least tried to live up to it somewhat.

Not anymore.

Today, it’s all about freedom and doing whatever we want to do, to heck with how it impacts or influences anyone else. That’s a shame. I hated that I had to have a conversation about how Jennifer Lopez and Shakira should have had clothes on and that it is not OK to shake your butt at someone. My kids get it. They know that behavior is not appropriate. Seeing things like this, however, chips away at the moral code and not just for them, for everyone. The more we see something, even if we disagree with it, the more likely we are to become numb to it. To eventually come to accept, with a shrug of the shoulders, “that’s just how it is.”

There were a good number of people who shared my assessment of the show. As the public posted their reviews on Facebook, I saw these comments: “I guess I’m a prude, but I thought the half-time show bordered on vulgar.” “I felt like I was at a strip show.” “Inappropriate for the little ones and young adults.” “What was the message behind performing that way?”

I wish we could replace the “if you’ve got it, flaunt it” mentality with the old-school advice of “leave something to the imagination.” I wish we could go back to the days when people wore real clothes and would never dream of venturing out in public in their pajamas. We used to take pride in our appearance. Blue jeans and T-shirts were never appropriate attire for occasions such as funerals, weddings or graduations. There were standards and expectations for proper attire. We didn’t dress little girls up like 20-year-olds going to the club. Mothers didn’t dress like teenagers.

It used to be like that. A long time ago. If you consider 20 years a long time.

The Facebook comment I found most poignant put it very clearly, yet succinctly: “The world needs more class and less trash.”

Amen to that.