[“Let’s Get Loud,” by Jennifer Lopez]

Natalia & Maria: Hello!

Natalia: Welcome to Guatever!

Maria: I’m Maria Caamaño from Dominican Republic.

Natalia: And I’m Natalia Camino, and I was born in Mexico.

Maria: Today’s episode is on the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show. Now, we weren’t really originally planning to do this episode…

Natalia: But just based on the attention it’s gotten and how much it’s blown up, we felt like we needed to do it. So just a quick disclaimer! On this podcast, we do just talk about our opinions, and it’s okay to have different opinions from us, but what we talk about is just based on our personal experience and what we think. And then also Maria and I are taking an Introduction to Latinx Studies, so we’re kind of incorporating some of the things we learn from there into this podcast because we think they’re pretty relevant. But obviously we’re also still learning. So we...

Maria: And we like totally respect that other people have different opinions.

Natalia: Yeah, because we’re also literally 18 years old. We’ve been on this planet for 18 years. So we don’t know everything.

Natalia: Yeah! Let’s get into today’s episode. So Maria, have you ever watched the Super Bowl before?

Maria: I … OK, so I had never watched the Super Bowl. So this was the first time I had ever seen a halftime show live.

Natalia: Wow. So I watch the Super Bowl every year with my dad and my two brothers. I’m not an avid sports person … just to clarify. But I do enjoy watching sports, and if one more man tries to mansplain football to me, I might punch them. Not gonna lie. One time, this guy tried mansplaining football to me and he started with, “so there’s a defense and an offense.”

Maria: Oh my God.

Natalia: So, getting back to the halftime show. So the Super Bowl kind of represents the epitome of America, masculinity, man...

Maria: Manliness.

Natalia: Manliness. That’s what it represents. And to have two Latina women perform at the halftime show. I think it kind of represents everything that’s the opposite of the Super Bowl.

Maria: Yeah.

Natalia: In a sense.

Maria: Yeah, I get that.

Natalia: It was kind of ironic. It was kind of historic that two Latina women performed. So let’s set the stage as to how we watched it.

Maria: Okay.

Natalia: So it was ten minutes to the halftime show.

Maria: I downloaded the NFL app. We just waited for the halftime show to come on.

Natalia: We were literally doing homework waiting for the halftime show to come on.

Natalia: Classic NU.

Maria: But the thing is I wasn’t originally planning on watching the halftime show until I found out that it was Shakira and J-Lo.

Natalia: Yeah.

Maria: And then when we found out that it was Bad Bunny and J Balvin as well…

Natalia: We literally…

Maria: Lost our shit.

Natalia: Yes. Maria and I watching this halftime show, it was just us screaming a lot.

Maria: It was like we were both almost near tears, I had goosebumps … It was just an experience. And I guess we didn’t really think before it happened that it was as significant as it would be.

Natalia: Yeah. Like it didn’t really hit me until I was watching it. If anyone had told me five years ago that I would be watching two women who are Latina, like me, perform at the Super Bowl halftime show I would be like, “No, that’s not possible. America’s too racist for that.” That’s not gonna happen. And to see that actually happen … I’ve never seen that before. There’s barely any Latino representation whatsoever in media, in big globalized, commercialized events. And to see that was kind of powerful.

Maria: Yeah, I mean, while we were watching it, Nat and I kept on talking very emotionally about how important representation really is. Because you don’t really realize it until you experience it. I really wasn’t thinking that it was going to be that big of a deal, but then I saw it and I was so excited and so happy. And it brought so much joy to me to see people who like their music I’ve been listening to, not only since I was little, like Shakira and J-Lo, but also currently with Bad Bunny and J Balvin. I had so much pride in being a Latina and my community.

Natalia: Yeah, I think it definitely has brought the Latino community together in a sense. Like we could all bond. We’ve ALL grown up listening to Shakira. I don’t know a single Latino person who has not grown up listening to Shakira. Like, Shakira has been a global icon.

Maria: She really has been.

Natalia: For arguably two decades, I grew up listening to her when I was 6. She had two World Cup songs – 2010 and 2014.

Maria: Mm-hmm.

Natalia: J-Lo also had a World Cup song in 2014. These women have been global icons for years.

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: So let’s just go through the performance really quick.

Maria: Yeah.

Natalia: So Shakira comes up. Absolutely kills it.

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: She even plays a Led Zeppelin riff on the guitar at one point.

Maria: She played guitar!

Maria & Natalia: She played the drums!

Maria: Like, this woman.

Natalia: She is 43 years old.

Maria: She’s amazing, and her dancing is amazing. Like, oh my God.

Natalia: And then J-Lo sings. Also kills it.

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: Literally, she is 50 years old.

Maria: She … that woman.

Natalia: I don’t know how they did it. I don’t think people are giving them sufficient credit for their dancing and how seamless, how flawless everything was choreographed, how everything just went through.

Maria: No mistakes. There’s this word I’m trying to use, and I forgot what it was.

Natalia: Like, Maria is a dancer.

Maria & Natalia: *Very high-pitched laughter*

Natalia: I don’t dance. I’ve tried. I wish I was gifted in dancing. But alas, I wasn’t. So, I don’t know where I was going that was just a fun fact.

Maria: I think they don’t get enough credit because, first of all, they had to split their time.

Natalia: Yeah.

Maria: They created perfect set lists that represent them perfectly. Their outfits were amazing. They have this stage presence that was amazing.

Natalia: Yes. They for sure – yes.

Maria: Like, the tricks they did? J-Lo was being carried for like half of her set.

Natalia: And I think also J-Lo and Shakira they both know what they represent though, and I think they used that to kind of convey what they wanted to.

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: Like I think it was really powerful that J-Lo brought her daughter – who is also Marc Anthony’s daughter. Like, imagine having your parents be Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony? I can’t.

Maria: I mean, that’s why she sings so well as well.

Natalia: Yeah. But anyways, J-Lo’s daughter comes up on stage and she starts singing “Born in the USA” while there’s children in cages. And I thought that was very powerful, and it was very impactful especially where we are today.

Maria: Yeah.

Natalia: Like, where America is today.

Maria: It was a power move.

Natalia: It was a power move because a few days later Donald Trump gave his State of the Union address and…

Maria & Natalia: *sigh*

Maria: I don’t even understand how I can begin to explain how I felt and I’m like…

Natalia: You’re not even American!

Maria: I’m not even American.

Natalia: Like, I’m not American either. But I just think it was really … it was a power move by J-Lo to do that and know the significance of it and still choose to do it. I think J-Lo doing that … it really showed not only America but the world the reality of being a Latino.

Maria: Yeah. It was a political statement.

Natalia: It was a political statement. And it showed what some Latinos have to deal with in America. And then she, while her daughter was singing “Born in the USA,” J-Lo comes out with a dual flag – one side, the Puerto Rico flag, and on the other side the American flag and that was also a political statement.

Maria: Yes, because she’s trying to freaking make people understand that you can be Latino but you’re also American. It’s not like you are a threat.

Natalia: Yeah. Also, J-Lo was born in the US!

Maria: Literally! That’s the entire point of her set. She’s Latina, she was born in the US – you can be…

Natalia: You can be both!

Maria: You can be both exactly.

Natalia: And she was kind of saying that people need to accept that and accept the reality of – yes, I am both American and both Latino. But also this is the reality that some Latinos have to live with and live in.

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: And I think also it was just powerful, and I think that’s what brought everyone together. Because her coming out in that flag was very representative. Also, because Shakira and J Balvin are both Colombian and Bad Bunny and J-Lo are both Puerto Rican.

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: And I think that really unified Latin America and tied it back to the United States.

Maria: Yes, and I also think it was very smart that they split it so that J-Lo and J Balvin and Bad Bunny and Shakira were together because it just shows that the Caribbean Latinos and the, I guess, South America part of like Latinos, feel like they are very different when you are a Latino, but we’re also a community.

Natalia: Yeah, and then also at the end Shakira comes out singing “Waka Waka,” and I think she sang it also to remind people that the world is unified.

Maria: I think their message was very positive. In that, they were trying … they were political, but they were doing it in a positive way.

Natalia: Yeah.

Maria: They were trying to be like, “We are a global community and we should be trying to be united rather than divided.” I think that what she was trying to do with “Waka Waka” was show that yes, they are two Latinas. They are still trying to be like, “We acknowledge that there are so many other cultures and that we are multicultural, and we are embracing those other cultures.”

Natalia: Yeah, and I think also J Balvin’s song “Mi Gente really spoke to Latinos too. Because you could feel it in the stadium when he and J-Lo sang that together. Because they sang in Miami, which is kind of Latino capital of the United States.

Maria: Yeah.

Natalia: And you could feel the stadium vibrate when they sang that.

Maria: Mm-hmm.

Natalia: And they asked, “¿Donde esta mi gente?” Where are my people? And everyone just responded. It was a very impactful moment.

Maria: It was very emotional.

Natalia: Yes.

Maria: Like when we were watching it, I think we both got very emotional. The entire performance was really just a celebration.

Natalia: Yeah. That’s a good word to describe it. Yeah, for sure.

Maria: But I think also we kind of wanted to address more than anything in this episode was the controversy that came with the Super Bowl halftime. How Shakira and J-Lo were portrayed in the media is totally not okay.

Natalia: Yeah, like they were definitely hypersexualized.

Maria: I mean my stance on it – and I’ve told Nat about this – is that there were two kind of basic arguments on the performance on whether they were sexualizing themselves and being overly sexual or whether people are just tearing them down and they’re being empowered. And I personally feel like they are being torn down by other people. Like Adam Levine in the 2019 halftime was entirely…

Natalia: He was half-naked the entire time!

Maria: Yeah! He was like shirtless! And, of course, white moms were like, “Hubba hubba give me more!”.

Natalia: Oh God.

Maria: And then Shakira and J-Lo just come out and they’re like in these … Shakira was essentially in a crop top and a skirt or shorts, which is normal. She even had a jacket at the end. And then J-Lo was just in a bodysuit and a leotard and all of these women were like – not only women, also men were just like…

Natalia: Even though the cheerleaders wear – there’s less clothing on them than was on Shakira and J-Lo, but no one says anything.

Maria: About that. Well like what I was going to say was that there was a proposal for a parental warning. Like...

Natalia: Also, not gonna lie, it’s the Super Bowl Halftime show. What do you expect?

Maria: Exactly. Also, they’re in Miami. It’s hot. Let them have less clothes.

Natalia: Yes! They’re performing!

Maria: Yes! Exactly! What’s such a big deal about it? And like you said – the cheerleaders. But of course, no one questions the cheerleaders because they’re for the male gaze and entertainment.

Natalia: And also because they provide money for the NFL.

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: And is anyone gonna do anything to stop capitalism?

Maria & Natalia: No.

Maria: But also, J-Lo and Shakira did not get paid for their halftime show.

Natalia: Oh really?

Maria: I read about that. (If you want to read more, here’s the article:

Natalia: I did not know that.

Maria: Yeah they didn’t get paid for the halftime show. So, I think like – you know what? Let them do whatever the hell they want.

Natalia: Arguably, the NFL made more money off of them performing because you got all of Latin America to watch.

Maria: Literally! Literally.

Natalia: Plus the rest of the world who love Shakira and J-Lo.

Maria: Yeah! Exactly!

Natalia: Yeah, so this is kind of just like what we have taken away from the halftime show.

Maria: Yeah. One of the things that also we wanted to address was that, first of all, thank you to everyone who sent us…

Natalia: Thank you to everyone who comments or listened to it! We really appreciate it.

Maria: Yes! And if you sent us feedback, we listened. Most of the comments that we got was that we move really fast between topics or that we don’t spend enough time on stuff, and it’s really because…

Natalia: We’ve spent hours talking about this and have to get it down to 15 minutes.

Maria: Yeah, we have a time limit so that’s why we can’t really divert as much as we’d like to.

Natalia: Also, most of our episodes won’t actually be like this. Like, next week we’re gonna dive into an artist and kind of talk about their impact on Latin America and also kind of go through their music...

Maria: Music.

Natalia: And kind of discuss it because that’s what we like to do. But we just felt like we needed to talk about this and address the Super Bowl halftime show.

Natalia: Also, listen to J Balvin’s podcast!

Maria: Oh, yes!

Natalia: It’s actually – it’s really good. It’s in Spanish so like if you don’t speak Spanish, I’m sorry. Learn Spanish.

Maria: Hahahaha.

Natalia: Like I don’t know what else to tell you. Google Translate the transcript?

Maria: What?

Natalia: I don’t know! But it’s really good! Check it out!

Maria: Okay! So this was the second episode!

Natalia: Tune in next time!

Maria & Natalia: Or Guatever.

Maria: This is Maria Caamaño.

Natalia: And this is Natalia Camino.

Maria: On NBN.

[“Let’s Get Loud,” by Jennifer Lopez]