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 — oooo — this 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.
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!!