We all knew this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show was going to be a ride from start to finish when it was announced that Shakira and Jennifer Lopez would be performing a few months back. And boy, did they serve. It was the most lively halftime performance since Lady Gaga took to the stage back in 2017 (sry JT and Maroon 5), and because of the two women leading the show, it was easy to expect that some female empowerment was going to take place. Still, here are just a few feminist easter eggs that you may have missed but won’t soon forget about now:
1. It was the first all Latinx Super Bowl Halftime Show ever
For the first time in the Super Bowl’s 54 year history, every single performer on the stage was Latinx. Shakira rocked her Colombian heritage, Jennifer Lopez brought Puerto Rican pride and additional appearances by the Colombian artist J Balvin and Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny made this performance a celebration of Latinx cultures.
2. The elite squad of She Wolves
She Wolf was the feminist anthem none of us knew we needed back in 2009. Now, 11 year later, Shakira pulled it out again to open the halftime performance. But it wasn’t just Shakira herself that made this moment a show stopper. She was backed by dozens of incredible, diverse women dancers that made the first moments of the show a hip swaying female empowerment extravaganza.
3. Shakira’s zaghrouta celebrated her Lebanese heritage
Shakira’s tongue wag became a meme-able moment just about the second that it happened--but many people didn’t understand that Shakira wasn’t doing it just for Twitter. Shakira’s display was actually a zaghrouta, a traditional Arabic celebration chant. Many viewers believe that this was a nod to Shakira’s Lebanese heritage, only adding to the fact that this performance turned out to be an homage to a variety of different beautiful cultures.
4. J Lo payed homage to Hustlers
Last year, Lopez proved her acting chops once again as the lead role in "Hustlers," a film that champions female sexuality, sex work, and over all bad-assery. For the role of Romona, J Lo trained in pole dancing, and she showed off her skills once again at the halftime performance. We. Were. Here for it.
5. Lopez’s daughter and a choir of girls reminded us to get loud
A tender and surprising moment happened when a little girl took to the halftime show stage to sing J Lo’s hit song “Let’s Get Loud.” That little girl was Lopez’s 11-year-old daughter, Emme, and she shined alongside an all girls choir who emboldened the fact that this show was a celebration of the power of womxn.
6. A Venus symbol dawned the field
This one is pretty self explanatory as a feminist easter egg that you might have missed while watching the festivities unfold. But we must say, it was pretty awesome to see a Venus symbol plastered on the notorious Hard Rock Stadium floor.
7. They protested the border camps
The entire latter half of the halftime show promoted one empowering political statement after another. One of the most poignant was the image of some of the little girls from the choir, including J Lo’s daughter, standing in light up structures in the form of cages. Many people believe that the inclusion of the spectacle was a direct protest to the horrendous camps at the border and family separations and a call to action of immigrant rights. To add to the beauty of this moment, J Lo and the child performers were proudly shouting out the lyrics to “Born in the USA.” Take that, Trump administration.
8. Shakira played literally every instrument
We’re not sure if this counts as a total feminist moment, but I just had to include it on the list. We’re all used to Shakira’s honest hips and killer vocals, but did you know that the the 43-year-old musician can seemingly play every single instrument known to man? During the performance, Shakira not only shredded it on the electric guitar, but tore it up on the drums as well. Honestly, a moment for the history books.
9. J Lo’s feather vest was both a Puerto Rican and an American Flag
The outfits for this show could have a whole separate list dedicated to them, but there was one in particular that caught our eye. During the “Born in the USA '' portion of the performance, J Lo came out in a stunning vest made of feathers that sported the American Flag on one side and the Puerto Rican flag on the other, embodying the sisterly relationship between the two. She proudly spread her arms to show the Puerto Rican flag in full while singing with her daughter, celebrating not only her background, but the culture of many of the people on stage, hundreds of people in the stadium, thousands of folks outside in the city of Miami, and millions of people watching on their TVs.
10. This final, sweet embrace
We simply had to include this as the final feminist moment of the list. All and all, we loved to see two incredible women taking to the Super Bowl halftime stage and celebrating not only the beauty and power of womxn, but one another. In the final few seconds of the performance, we got to see Shakira and J Lo dancing side by side, embracing and sticking their hands into the air in unison. It was truly one of the most powerful ways to conclude one of the best halftime performances in history.
All images via NFL and Entertainment on YouTube
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Aliza is a Creative Writing BFA student and former BUST Magazine intern! When she's not writing, reading or scrolling through TikTok for hours on end, you can find her consuming copious amounts of iced coffee or doing something witchy. Follow her on Twitter @alizapelto.