John Stonestreet on J.Lo and Shakira’s Super Bowl Performance and Our Culture’s Mixed Messages

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform during the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.


In 2013, Rachel Campos-Duffy, a blogger on the Today Show’s “Moms” site, described watching Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime performance as a “parenting challenge.” The hyper-sensual show’s half-dressed performers had left her kids with quizzical looks on their faces. Her eight-year-old simply said, “She looks weird.”

I wish all of our kids were as confused by seeing something like that, but unfortunately, sexuality packaged as music and performance is an all-too-familiar part of our culture. After Beyonce’s version in 2013, Campos-Duffy snarkily commented, “I half-expected a stripper pole to pop out of the platform…”

Well this past Sunday, that’s exactly what happened. A stripper pole.

Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime performance, featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, was by far the raciest halftime since Beyonce. For the last several years, there’s been a notable de-sensualization of not only Super Bowl halftimes but also Super Bowl commercials.

Even Lady Gaga was comparatively modest in her 2017 performance. It’s almost as if the NFL and its network producers got the message from Campos-Duffy and millions of moms who complained about the visual assault on their children and families.

Well, until Sunday, that is, when the Super Bowl became yet another chapter in the ongoing sexualization of American culture, of women, and of kids. In the midst of our culture’s ubiquitous calls to protect kids and women from abuse and harassment, especially in this #MeToo era, we pretend that as long as we call it “art” or “female empowerment,” that this sort of overt sexualization will magically have none of the consequences we now complain about.

From the beginning, the sexual revolution has promised women that aggressively flaunting skin and sexuality was empowerment, and that divorcing sex from marriage and procreation would be a means to freedom. In reality, it was men who got what they wanted: sexual pleasure without the burden of commitment or requirement of chivalry.

For a brief moment a few years ago, it was almost as if that lie had been exposed. More and more women bravely came forward revealing how they’d been treated horrifically as “sexual objects” and such. But if Sunday’s performance is any indication, we have not learned our lesson.

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Source: Christian Headlines