"As much as this game has further aggravated divisions in the United States — it’s impossible to play down the fact that for 15 fleeting minutes, hundreds of millions of eyes were on Latinas," says Suzy Esposito. "And not just Latinas, but Latinas getting loud. Latinas, both mothers, confidently basking in their sexuality. Latinas speaking out against the abuse of migrants. Latinas schooling Anglo-Americans on the racial and cultural diversity of Latin Americans, especially the kind we still don’t see represented enough on television. May there come a day when people across the spectrum of gender, race, class, and citizenship are valued the way we should all be. But this mission — should each of us choose to accept it and stick to it — did not start, nor should it stop, with an NFL halftime show."
J.Lo-Shakira halftime show was a rare example where two acts working: "Although J.Lo got more of the early publicity, the show couldn’t have been more evenly split if it’d been contractually mandated," says Chris Willman. "(Which maybe it was, if you looked at the clock and saw that the transition from Shakira as headliner to J.Lo came exactly midway into the 14-minute performance, almost down to the split-second.) This was not a case of too many cooks creating not much broth at all, as has been the case with so many halftime performances, where artists have seemed thrown together for no reason, from the Aerosmith/NSYNC pairing in 2001 to Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno in 2016 to the hip-hop interlocutions during Maroon 5’s 'please don’t hate us for being white' set last year."
Why it wasn't surprising that no one knew what Shakira's "tongue thing" was: "The Grammy-winning artist, who is half Lebanese, was letting loose a zaghrouta, a chant often raised in the Middle East and North Africa at moments too joyful to celebrate otherwise," says Zainab Mudallal. "If you’ve ever been to an Arab wedding, you’ve probably heard such an ululation. If you’re related to anyone like my late grandmother, you heard it before you went off to prom, when you aced your final exams and when you returned home after a long trip away. Call it a 'yeehaw,' a 'yaaass,' a 'hallelujah' — whatever suits you best...Twitter was immediately flooded with memes of the moment, mostly making unflattering comparisons, particularly to turkeys, SpongeBob SquarePants and even sexual acts. The confusion surrounding the act, whose origin dates to the pre-Islamic era, was understandable. It’s a symptom of the West’s broader problem of poor representation of Arab and Middle Eastern life. For once, an Arabic expression of utter delight, not the violent stereotypes that plague American TV and movies, was on one of our biggest national stages. And next to no one recognized it."
Halftime show should've come with a parental warning: "To some, the show was a joyful, Miami-infused explosion of dance and high-energy music that got you out of your seat — and not just for another fistful of nachos, either," says Gil Smart. "To others, it looked a lot like softcore porn. JLo, in particular, spent a lot of time grabbing her crotch. A popular meme on the social news aggregator Reddit featured 'The three seconds you wanted from the Super Bowl halftime show' — a clip of the two stars shaking their respective booties."