We need more Latinx empowerment, fewer stereotypes

I don’t know much about football, but when it comes to Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, I can tell you anything.

It was amazing to hear that two of the singers I grew up with were going to perform at the Super Bowl — especially since they were representing the Latinx population, which I am a part of.

When Monday morning came around and everyone was talking about their performance, it wasn’t a surprise. What was surprising was the fact that their performance had caused quite a controversy.

Some people believed that it was an incredible performance and deserved all the praises because there was finally some Latinx representation, but some believed that the performance was too inappropriate for the Super Bowl.

There are always two sides to every story, but as a Latina myself, there were things that I liked, but also aspects that did not sit well with me.

The biggest concern that I have with this performance is that it sexualizes and supports the typical Latina stereotype: The one that claims every Latina must be sexy, spicy, and have a very filled-out body. I can assure you that I do not have an ounce of sexy in my body; the only part of me that is spicy is the food I like to eat, and I am smaller than anyone I know.

I am not saying that it wasn’t a great performance, and of course I am aware of the world we live in, so I knew there was going to be some twerking and hip movements.

But there are still some boundaries we should try not to cross; after all, the Super Bowl is a family-friendly event.

One of my colleagues at the newspaper said she was forced to send her brother out of the room during the performance, and a co-worker of mine who is a mother said that she was very sure she saw some very private areas she didn’t want her daughters to see.

As two of the most famous icons of the Latinx world, they should try to lead with dignity, and show the world that as women, our bodies are not all we are.

A good example of an amazing Latina who empowered the Latinx community was a woman named Selena Quintanilla. She was, and still continues to be, an icon for Latina women today. She is an example of a woman who became popular because of her talent, and stayed true to that throughout her whole career. That was why she was such a great example for young Latina women. After her untimely death at the age of 23, she is not remembered for her sensual movements or her outrageous outfits, but because of her talent and amazing character.

Jennifer Lopez did play her in the movie chronicling her life, and while she did a fantastic job, she should have also taken some notes on what it was like to be a true example to the people.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will always hold a place in my heart, but with every performance, they must stop to think about the audience that looks up to them.

As I was speaking to my fellow co-worker, Mandee Shivers, she asked “Do we want to teach young women that in order to be confident and powerful, they must dance around half-dressed to get attention, or should we teach them to be so confident, so that they do not need to use their bodies to make themselves heard?” I could have not asked a better question myself.

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