Time for better??
Posted on February 03 2020
For centuries, human beings have enjoyed the arts. Whether it’s paintings, music, sculptures or dance, art has been a means for people to experience something new, think of the world in a new way, see things they haven’t seen before. Art has a long history of being provocative, sensual, inspiring and moving.
Art changes the world by inspiring dialog and discussion.
I’d say last night’s performance at the Superbowl half time show by Shakira and JLo did just that. Created conversation among people with diverse opinions.
I don’t know any more if I am the minority of the majority, but I personally found the show entertaining, fun and a screaming validation that women can be stunning creatures at any age if they choose it. Anyone who has ever taken a single dance class knows how difficult it is to make something so physically challenging look so easy and effortless. What we witnessed was the outcome of decades of hard work, commitment and dedication. It was a career culmination for these two artists who have been pioneers in the performing arts in our time.
I was shocked yesterday to see so many posts criticizing Shakira and JLo for their performance calling it a slap in the face of the metoo movement. Women openly saying that the show was hyper sexual and it cast a shadow over the many women working to free themselves from the shackles of objectification in our society.
But real freedom means women (and men) have the right to embrace their own sexuality and beauty without fear of unwanted sexual advances. Real freedom also means someone who doesn’t appreciate a performance, can just turn off the TV. We don’t live in a dictator ship where anyone is being forced to endure an artistic expression that makes them uncomfortable. You have the choice, to walk away anytime.
I have daughters, and not for one moment did I think that this show would result in them taking to a life of pole dancing for dollar bills. I didn’t think that, because I know that their value system is based on a combination of experiences throughout their life. What I hope they took from that show was that aging doesn’t mean you have to be frail. I hope they saw the beauty of these two women, I hope they saw their incredible talent and endurance, I hope they watched the stereotypes of middle age shattered into a million pieces and embraced a new way of looking at growing older. That it can be powerful, athletic, strong and in many ways, the beginning of life. Not the beginning of the end of life. I hope that instead of feeling jealous, envious or small, they felt inspired, hopeful and larger than life. I hope they saw possibility.
I know that I am turning 40 this year. And it has plagued me. I have felt the years of bad choices piling up on me like a thick blanket of resigned hopelessness. It’s all downhill from here right? The best years are behind me, my body is going to deteriorate, I’m going to get old, become Sophia Petrillo and end up at Shady Pines by 65. The end.
But, when I saw the halftime show yesterday, I felt totally different. I felt renewed, and confident that the only thing standing in the way of me being in the best shape of my life at 43 or 50, was my own choices.
People say it’s time for better. It’s time to stop making women sexual objects. That we are better than that. Maybe though, it’s time for us to deeply internalize that we are a judgmental society, and what causes more damage to our youth and our social constructs isn’t a provocative half time show, but the vitriolic rhetoric from the people who disapproved of it. The angry words and harsh judgements designed to wound and shock will have far greater implications for the emotional and psychological health of our society than the show these two ladies put on.
There is nothing wrong with being more conservative, and preferring not to participate in a show that pushes your moral boundaries. 100%, you have the right to feel that way, and a right to turn the TV off and not let your children watch it. We all have our lines, and the beauty of freedom is we have the right to protect that line with a remote control. I just hope that in 2020, we can find a way in our collective society to embrace our differences with mutual respect rather than divisive language and hate.