COLUMN: ‘Let’s Get Loud’ in Miami

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There was a misunderstanding regarding social commentary in the Super Bowl halftime show.

On Feb. 2, during the halftime portion of the Super Bowl, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez inspired their entourage of Hispanic and non-Hispanic fans with a colorful and captivating show.

The two performed many of their most well-known songs such as “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Whenever Wherever,” “On the Floor,” “Chantaje,” “Jenny From the Block,” and “Let’s Get Loud” among several other classic hits.

Aside from the jaw-dropping performance, it is also vital to remember how much this halftime show probably meant to the people of Miami. Miami’s population is 70 percent Hispanic, and so one could imagine the excitement felt by those who call Miami home.

Those who are familiar with Hispanic culture were aware of and enthused by the dance and attire worn by the performers. However, those who are not as familiar with the culture may have seen this performance as inappropriate.

Many may remember Shakira’s seemingly random tongue-flicking and have probably witnessed internet meme’s regarding the action. What people may not realize is the cultural context behind the action. The Washington Post says “Shakira’s ‘tongue flicking’ is a cultural reference to Barranquilla’s Carnaval and a celebration of Colombia’s culture.”

While the show was a demonstration of culture, it is also quite possible that with its messages regarding the social climate of America today, it was meant to provoke controversy.

The concluding portion of Jennifer Lopez’s performance showcased children under cage-like structures, singing “Let’s Get Loud” while she wore a double-sided flag with both the United States and Puerto Rico designed on it.

While many viewers over-sexualized the performance, and deemed the two performers as unbecoming, what they’ve failed to realize is that the halftime show was steeped in a political and societal commentary.

The point of the message was to ‘Get Loud’ and bring attention to Puerto Rico’s current situation regarding the earthquakes, and inhumane immigration circumstances relating to various other Hispanic countries. And also to bring out a sense of pride among the Hispanic population.