Jennifer Lopez challenges criticism for her Super Bowl halftime dance: 'I’m very proud of the performance'

Jennifer Lopez is challenging criticism that her Super Bowl half-time performance with Shakira was “too adult” and had “too much skin.”

“I think that’s honestly silliness,” Lopez told Variety with a laugh, during Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. The singer was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for the film Hustlers.

“Both of us are really respectful performers who are moms, who have kids, who are very conscious of what we do. We did a show that I believe was a celebration of women and our Latino culture that was really well received. And that small faction of people who want to be negative about it, it’s not something I can even let in because it was such an amazing night.”

Wearing a silver-and-pink Valentino gown, Lopez said, “So many beautiful things came out of it and the message of standing up for yourself, being a women – that’s what I want to pass on to little girls – that’s what we want to say, you’re strong, you’re beautiful, everything about you, be proud of it,” said Lopez. “I’m very proud of the performance that night.”

The singer, who is of Puerto Rican descent and Shakira, whose mother is Columbian and father is Lebanese, gave an explosive song-and-dance performance during the February 2nd Super Bowl featuring the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. It was the first time that two Latina artists had taken that stage together.

Shakira sang “She Wolf,” “Whenever, Wherever” and “Hips Don’t Lie,” creating a viral moment when she wagged her tongue at the camera. Then, Lopez emerged singing “Jenny From the Block,” "Get Right” and "Waiting For Tonight.”

There was shock and awe over the women’s ages — Shakira is 43 and Lopez is 50 — and the cultural subtext. Lopez performed on a stripper pole after Hustlers was not nominated for an Oscar, and children, including Lopez’s 11-year-old daughter Emme, sang “Let’s Get Loud” from cages, a speculated reference to the president’s immigration policies.

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Jennifer Lopez and Shakira perform at the Super Bowl
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Jennifer Lopez and Shakira perform at the Super Bowl
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Singer Shakira performs, during the halftime show at the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs', Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Shakira, left, hugs Jennifer Lopez after performing during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Shakira performs during the halftime show at the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs', Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Shakira durante su presentación en el espectáculo de medio tiempo en del Super Bowl 54 de la NFL entre los Chiefs de Kansas City y los 49ers de San Francisco el domingo 2 de febrero de 2020 en Miami Gardens, Florida. (Foto AP/Charlie Riedel)
US singer Jennifer Lopez and her daughter Emme Muniz perform during the halftime show of Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on February 2, 2020. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Jennifer Lopez performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
US singer Jennifer Lopez performs during the halftime show of Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on February 2, 2020. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US singer Jennifer Lopez (R) and Colombian singer Shakira (L) perform during the halftime show of Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on February 2, 2020. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Jennifer Lopez performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Jennifer Lopez performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
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“All I want my girls, the little girls on stage with me and all over the world to know is how to use their voices and be proud of everything they are,” Lopez wrote in a February 3 Instagram post. “Other people can try to build walls, keep us out or put us in cages. We are proud to recognize that all of us together are what makes this beautiful country truly great.” Although the current caption appears to no longer include “walls” or “cages” and reads, “We are proud to recognize that all of us together are what makes this beautiful country truly great.”

Lopez also wore a red-white-and-blue feathered flag that represented both the United States and Puerto Rico.

While the performance was celebrated by the public, including by Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Shania Twain, controversy caught up. The women were called out for their costumes and their expressive dance moves. Even Twisted Sister singer Dee Snyder reduced the act to “pole humping, a** slapping” and “a** shaking.”

Related: J.Lo Super Bowl Performance Electrifies, Sparks Debate About Age

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