Forget about the haters, we are so here for moms like Shakira and J. Lo dancing their hearts out—glitter bodysuits and all.

By Libby Ryan
February 03, 2020
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Two Latina moms over the age of 40 gave an unforgettable halftime performance at the 2020 Super Bowl. Shakira, a 43-year-old mom of two young boys, and Jennifer Lopez (aka J.Lo), a 50-year-old mom of twins, hit the stage to perform hits such as "Hips Don't Lie" and "Let's Get Loud."

They join the line of badass mothers rocking the Super Bowl in fierce outfits showing their mom-bods including Beyoncé (who headlined in 2013) and Pink (who sang the national anthem in 2018). And their mom cred isn't going unnoticed by fans of the performance.

Shakira and J.Lo were the first Latina performers to ever headline the Super Bowl halftime show, making the show a milestone for representation. They packed the show full of cultural celebrations and sang in both English and Spanish.

Let's just run through a quick tally of some of the skills displayed by these two moms on stage last night: singing (bilingually!), salsa dancing, champeta dancing, Mapalé dancing, belly dancing, pole dancing, twerking, acrobatics, and more. Raise your hand if you'd love to master any one of these talents.

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

But that’s not all they did on stage. They also rejected the idea that once a woman is over a certain age she ought to cover up. They also tore down people who’d argue that once a woman has kids, she should stop moving her hips. And to top it off, these two mamas told every other woman out there that if you want to wear a sequined bodysuit, you absolutely should if it makes you happy. And if it doesn’t make you feel confident and proud and bold and strong, you can find your dancing joy in another way.

Some folks weren't quite as thrilled with the show, however, pointing to the dance costumes and choreography as overly sexual and inappropriate. Some viewers even deemed the performance as demeaning to women. But moms had their fellow mamas' backs, many pointing a crucial difference in Shakira and J.Lo's  performance compared to shows of decades past: they're weren't dancing for men. They were dancing for themselves, and celebrating the pure joy that music, movement, and yes, embracing your own sexuality, can bring:

They also drew attention to the incredible strength and athleticism that it takes to put on a show of that caliber. If you've ever tried a pole class, you've felt the ab strength that it takes to hold yourself up, much less twirl around like it takes no muscles at all. It's a feat of strength found in Cirque du Soleil, strip clubs, and your local fitness studio (if you want to give it a try after seeing J.Lo in Hustlers).

Others pointed out the difference in reactions when Adam Levine took off his shirt during the 2019 halftime show and the reaction to J.Lo's bodysuit in 2020, saying that many moms who lusted after Levine are now shaming J.Lo for her bodysuit (FYI, that's a full-body leotard—there was no danger of a problematic wardrobe malfunction here).

At the end of the day, we see why people may be uncomfortable seeing something they weren't expecting or maybe are not used to. But there’s incredible power in a 43-year-old woman and a 50-year-old woman, both moms, performing in outfits that made them feel sexy, powerful, and able to show off dance moves most of us can only dream of rocking. And even when people (aka Twitter) tried to pit these two superstars against each other, they came together for a final song with a message that promotes a kind of family value beyond preference of dance moves or outfits. J.Lo’s daughter, Emme Maribel Muñiz, and other young performers sang from inside a cage-like dome, referencing the children in detention facilities at the Mexican border.

And that's the definition of empowerment: Using your voice and your platform to highlight issues that are important to you—wearing anything the heck you want.

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