Dear JLo: I'm not mad at you. I have mad respect for your smoking body. I love that you are embracing your femininity and strength! Your hustle, grit, and perseverance throughout your career have inspired me all my life. I LOVE Jenny From the Block and the Fly Girls.
As I sat down to watch the halftime show tonight with my teenage boys and their friends, I shared with them how Shakira is over 40, and you're over 50 and just how dang in awe I am of the both of you.
As I sat in my living room with 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys I tried to remain calm and open-minded while the boys all tried to avoid the awkwardness of encountering you pole dancing, spreading your legs, and grabbing your crotch.
At the end of the performance, my 5th grader commented that this must be why I don’t let him go to concerts. And yes, that indeed is why. I would come to a concert with the mindset that it is a closed setting and you have artistic liberty to perform in whatever manner you may. But, this wasn’t a closed setting. It was the largest broadcast sporting event of the year where families were gathered around televisions watching your performance.
My 8th grader informed me today that he couldn’t believe I didn’t turn the channel because he knew it was something that I wouldn’t otherwise let him watch. And, he was right. But, I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, I wanted so badly for you to take this moment to embrace being an empowered female and share a positive message for women of any age. I didn’t really want to believe that it was as grimy as I felt it was. I tried to convince myself I was just being prudish.
In full disclosure, a few years ago, I would have covered the kids’ eyes, turned the channel, and been inspired by your confidence and ability to dance like that in such little clothing. But, I know too much now too simply overlook the message relayed.
I’ve seen too much. I’ve mentored too many women that were exploited and trafficked thoughout strip clubs across the country. I’ve seen women who danced in strip clubs (seemingly by their own volition) be beaten and have their lives and family members threatened when they tried to leave the life. The strip club atmosphere facilitates the purchase of sex through force, fraud, and coercion. I’ve seen the oversexualization of our society fuel the demand for sexual perversion that stretches far beyond the depths of depravity.
The Super Bowl is the single largest event for Sex trafficking in the US. Anywhere that a large group of people gather, traffickers show up and bring girls in from all across the country to meet the overwhelming demand. I personally know women that can’t bare to watch the superbowl due to the horrific traumas they endured surrounding the event in their past. It’s not the NFL’s fault. Likewise, your performance was not the cause that an unmentionable amount of boys, girls, and women were sold for sex repeatedly this past weekend. It is however our society’s fault that has created this culture and fueled the demand.
We can’t stand firm behind the #metoo movement while promoting behavior that is at the core of the demand. It becomes difficult to teach my teenage son that women are not sexual objects for him to gawk over when they are on display for the world to see with legs spread and crotch on display in the name of female empowerment. There is a manner in which the beauty, fitness, and talent of two over 40, fully empowered females could have been displayed and welcomed by families around the nation. Little girls could have been in awe of the dance moves. Little boys could have marveled at the beauty. People of all ages could have appreciate the lyrical gifts. And, middle aged women like myself could have been inspired to reach for the best version of themselves, owning their gifts and talents, and knowing that they too can do anything they set their minds to regardless of age. Instead, we’re left feeling ashamed that our sons just encountered their first glimpse of women performing sexually for the pleasure of those willing to consume the act.
We can do better America. The next generation is watching and deserves better.
Hi! I'm, Brandi, founder of The Power Project, and I'm so glad you're here! I have this crazy belief that we can all do anything we set our minds to! Sometimes, you just need to hear it from a stranger on the internet. But, we're not strangers anymore. We're friends now. Welcome Friend! I hope you find some inspiration, encouragement, and empowerment here.