I owe Julieta an apology. Last week, when I sat down to write my weekend post, I consulted my “notes” — really just random slips of paper or virtual musings in notepad or even emails I forward to myself — to see what I wanted to talk about that week.

“Half-time show” was one of them.

And I tried writing about the half-time show.

I found articles to reference, ones that basically chastised the pearl-clutchers for clutching their pearls. I found articles that supported J.Lo and Shakira from a feminist perspective, from a cultural perspective, from a motherhood perspective.

I agree with all of those articles. Vehemently.

But…I must’ve been having an off night. My words weren’t coming, my thoughts were jumbled, and everything I wrote sounded pedantic or trite or — even worse — self-righteous.

So I deleted all of my half-hearted attempts. “It was just a half-time show,” I thought. “By Monday, no one will even care or remember.”

On Monday, I saw Julieta’s instagram post.

“According to this week’s headlines, I should be covering my body and never dance in front of my kids.

I am Colombian and my heart was coming out of my chest as I watched the Super Bowl halftime show. Shakira, J.Balvin, and a lot of dancers – even those dancing salsa with J.Lo were Colombian. The main song of the show, “Let’s Get Loud” was composed by a Colombian too.”

Julieta goes on to talk about the sense of pride she felt watching the half-time show. How she remembers dancing the Mapalé herself (one of the Afro-Colombian dances Shakira showcased), while in school back in Colombia. How she wore a short ruffled skirt and crop top while dancing — clothing made to show off the fast, challenging moves. “It’s. Part. Of. The. Dance.” she states.

I get that. Mike and I watched the show with our boys, and by the end of it, we were all on our feet, hootin’ and hollerin’. Not because these women were sexy, but because these women were STRONG. And insanely talented. And unafraid to make a powerful statement — on so many levels. Pax and I were attempting to shake our hips, Raines was all, “WHOA, Mom, that was seriously good dancing,” and Mike was marveling at both the athleticism and messaging in the performance. (And frankly, kudos to J.Lo for doing the butt-shaking thing on national TV riiiight next to freaking Shakira, the Queen Of All Hip Movements. Can you imagine how many hours she had to practice??Shakira always makes everything look so effortless — OH THE PRESSURE.)

I also get, after reading Julieta’s instagram, that I had failed. Representation matters, for so many reasons, and in this case, I totally missed it. I missed an opportunity to speak out, to support other women, other cultures. So allow me to use Julieta’s words — because they’re the ones I needed last week, the ones that we all — still — need to hear:

“We have two women singing in 3 different languages, playing different instruments, and dancing 7 music genres. Two working moms over 40 looking amazing showcasing their talents, strength, and work. It’s hard to believe that in 2020, we’re still teaching our kids to think that if a woman is not covered she needs to be sexualized. That if a culture is different, it’s wrong.

How about taking our kids to see the world?

Teaching them to embrace others without judgement?

Speak another language?

The problem is not Shakira, J.Lo, their clothes and moves. The problem is the way we react to it, the lack of knowledge or desire to learn about other cultures.

Maybe those who didn’t know about Latinos felt that the show wasn’t great. But for those of us who often feel underrepresented, we felt like were were conquering the world. We felt big in a time when our hearts have been breaking over walls, cages, and families separated. We felt SEEN.”

Julieta, I’m so sorry that I let this very important message go unsaid all week. Your words are spot-on. Love you, girl.


Another shrug. If you missed out on that Free People shrug I featured last week…I found this very similar shrug on sale at Anthropologie or — oooothis one (slightly longer, also on sale). WHOA – they’re both 50% off the already marked-down price.

Let’s lean into that. Since Anthro’s entire sale section is an additional 50% this weekend…why not also snap up this oversized and cozy turtleneck sweater (in a spring color palette) or these stunning trousers that I would absolutely wear year-round (and look MUCH more expensive than they are) or this absolutely perfect little leopard-print jacket that reminds me of Cam’s (available in plus sizes, too).

I tried Everlane’s new leggings. Everlane’s sustainable workout leggings have finally launched, and they’re only $58!! Which…is crazy, since they feel much more expensive. They run small, but feel as though you aren’t wearing anything at all. That said…they’re chilly for February. But I suspect they’re going to be my go-to workout leggings for hot weather (and would be amazing for seriously sweaty workouts like spin class or hot yoga).

Easier sustainable shopping? Kiiind Of. I’ve been using Nordstrom’s new Sustainable Style page as a good starting point for my own shopping. While I love that Nordstrom is focusing on sustainable fashion, I do have a few reservations. For example, Nordstrom includes their in-house brand, Treasure & Bond because they donate 2.5% of all sales to “empower youth”. Apparently, the default Sustainable Style page includes not just sustainable brands, but also brands that “give back”. To get a list of just the sustainable products, you’ve got to click one of the sub-categories, Sustainably Sourced…OR…Responsibly Manufactured, which is a little annoying, frankly. And “Responsibly Manufactured” can mean a ton of different things…and not all are eco-friendly. I get why this is so hard — we’ve been trying to weed through what is “sustainable enough” here, too, so I don’t mean to hate on Nordstrom — I REALLY appreciate the direction, it’s just important to, well, read. That said…I would not have realized that this seriously cool Leith top (a James Perse lookalike) is made from 95% sustainable Lyocell, so…yeah. Like I said, this page is my new starting point.

Point, Laura. A few of you might remember our original holiday style guide from years back. It was the first one we ever did, and I pulled it together with old photos from TME. When it was all done…there were zero photos of Laura. I literally couldn’t find a single photo of Laura dressed up! No photos of Laura in heels, nothing where she wasn’t carrying a big backpack (and most were in some sort of rain gear). At the time, we laughed about it, but she was also like…WHA?? For a while after, if she ever posted anything even remotely dressy (still rare, BTW) she’d text me. So imagine my surprise when I scrolled through IG and found Laura on the TME feed in a bralette & mesh top! Sniff. [S wipes away a tear]. I’m a proud mama, I am. (It was part of this week’s style challenge — next week is MOM JEANS so get ready.)

Speaking of challenges…mom jeans. If you have been eyeing up mom jeans as much as we have and are ready to finally FIGURE THEM OUT…here are a few of our fav pairs to play with next week: Mine are AGoldE’s Rileys (they’ll be featured in Sunday night’s newsletter — sign up here), Em’s an AGoldE fan, too — she’s admittedly obsessed with the high-rise Jamies. Abby, our Drexel intern and resident mom-jean expert swears by BDG’s High-Waisted Mom Jean, Linzi loves this Madewell pair, Scotti is all about Abercrombie’s mom jeans (see them on her here), and Laura likes this black pair (surprise, surprise) from Topshop. Kat had originally claimed that mom jeans don’t necessarily come in plus sizes…and then she found (and rocked) this pair – see them on her, here.

We save ’em up. Mike and I won’t look at @f-ckjerry’s IG feed for a few weeks, then we late night binge. Waffles (I get you girl), cat finding out it has ears and Vans on the wall are my current favs.

If ever there was a weekend for rom com…THIS ONE. I loved The Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Rom Com Book & Movie pairings. I second her recommendations for The Hating Game, Tweet Cute, and Get a Life, Chloe Brown.

Our Valentine’s Day menu…pasties from Jean Kay’s and chocolate-covered strawberries….along with plenty of champagne. Not quite fancy, but pretty darn perfect.

We flew home to Michigan this weekend. Tonight is the UP200, a dog-sled race that takes off downtown Marquette, and something I haven’t been able to see since high school. It’s grown over the years, and should be a really fun time. (And cold. It’s currently 2 degrees so…yeah. COLD.)

Happy Valentine’s Day Weekend, everyone!!

xo,
S

11 COMMENTS

  1. I 100% agree about representation and that the half time performance was amazing. And I agree that this is incredibly complex. Because…I watched it with my two teenage sons —13 and 15. And what stood out to me was all the crotch shots and camera angles. Once again I think we have to consider the “male gaze” that filmed that show and made it about their vaginas instead of their amazing performance. If it was filmed differently, I don’t think we have this many feelings. We would all be able to appreciate the show it was meant to be.

  2. As an adult, I marveled at Shakira and J Lo’s performance. They looked fantastic and danced well. At the same time, I noticed a glaring difference between their performance and their male counterparts, Bad Bunny and J Balvin- skimpy, body-conscious attire vs baggy from head to toe. I don’t recall seeing the men shake their booties and slide down a stripper pole. Call me old-fashioned, but it felt stale. It’s 2020 ladies.

  3. It is tricky. In a #metoo environment, the objectification of them was hard to swallow. Sex sells. You’re never going to get some phenomenal orchestra playing at half time. And that’s too bad. I thought both women looked amazing and strong. And it aspires me to get my health game together given I am just a few years younger than them! But my kids watched too, and I agree with the commenter about the crotch shots. Some things just aren’t appropriate. It doesn’t have anything to do with them being Latina at all.

  4. I agree 100% with the other comment about the male gaze and how that changed everything. I was on board until that moment J lo was singing next to one of the male singers and he was looking down at her with that look that’s hard to describe, it’s as though he’s looking at her as if he owns her. That unmistakable objectifying gaze that many of us have experienced walking down the street, when a man just stops and stares as if he has every right to do so. Now if j lo had turned that around and looked at HIM that way, then I’d call the performance empowering. Sorry but this about race. It’s about sexual objectification and personally I’m sick of it.

  5. I am a strong woman. I thought the dancing and songs were awesome. I think what troubled me was the actual costumes JLo wore. She had what has to be seen as masochistic outfits and outfits that are routinely known as strippers and prostitutes. Both of these occupations can be turned upside down and every way we want but most women are not hoping to grow up to be a hooker. They go into these professions for lots of reasons but career is not one of them. It just made light of an industry that is riddled with men who shame and hold down women, not glorify and promote women. That bothered me. It just felt wrong. I don’t care about the scanty outfits or the strong moves or the music. Shake it shake it shake it. But wear outfits that are not part of the biggest and oldest sex activity known to man. that does not lift women out of poverty and does nothing to show off who we really are- more than just sex toys for men.

  6. I totally agree that JLo and Shakira danced their hearts out for the Super Bowl performance. My issue with the performance wasn’t really Shakira, but rather JLo’s thong like outfits, crotch grabbing and use of a stripper pole. Those aspects didn’t feel family friendly and I was glad my son had already gone up to bed and missed it. I don’t think culture or race has anything to do with this as I am also Latina.

  7. I’m not Latina but spent middle school and high school in a town near the border of Mexico. As I watched the half-time show I thought “this is very Latin-inspired and they look and sound amazing.” When did we all become so puritanical? Remember Madonna, Cher, Flash Dance? I thought stripper poles were the precursor to Barre3 and JLo just filmed Hustlers. Heaven forbid teenage boys see JLo in a sheer bodysuit with all her parts covered, I assure you they can see every celebrity in the barest of bikinis on instagram. Is it because they’re older and clearly ethnic? It’s the same argument I hear about student incivility in the classroom, does anyone remember Animal House or Fast Times at Ridgemont High? “Suddenly” kids are entitled now that the student population is not dominated by rich white kids. Can we please consider the recent college admission scandal?

  8. Hey Shana – just a heads up about @f*ckjerry: they steal content from other creators and refuse to give them credit, let alone pay them, even when the original creators point this out. It’s not an occasional thing- it’s their entire business model. BUT @mugjerry takes all of @f*ckjerry’s posts, finds the original creator and reposts the content, crediting and paying the original creator. Maybe follow them instead?

  9. I loved the whole show, but could have done without the stripper pole. Was all in for everything Shakira did and agree we have become too puritanical. And sexual objectification of 2 moms over 40 is revolutionary in itself.

  10. Seconding the notes on f*ckjerry: it’s all stolen material. Every. Single. Post. Without credit. Please don’t support or promote them.

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