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Urban Chat: J. Lo, Superbowl and super jealousy

Lynda Ibrahim

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, February 7, 2020  /  01:11 pm
Urban Chat: J. Lo, Superbowl and super jealousy

Rocking: Jennifer Lopez (right) and Shakira 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. (AFP/Timothy A. Clary )

If you haven’t watched the performance of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira during Superbowl’s halftime earlier this week, I strongly suggest you do, so the rest of this column won’t be too confusing.

I watched the halftime show. As someone who grew up dancing and performed on stage until not too long ago, I find J Lo and Shakira did one helluva job. Having watched J Lo in Hustler prepared me to the levity and agility of J Lo that now all Superbowl audience has witnessed to.

What had also prepared me was the two-hour, action-packed show performed four years ago by another woman several years older than J Lo. Her name is Madonna. During the Rebelheart worldwide tour in 2016, 57-year-old Madonna wore an array of skin-revealing getups while doing everything bar swinging horizontally from a pole.

Maybe because the televised Superbowl halftime show was more accessible, a whole lot more people were shocked and scandalized that 50-year-old J Lo and 43-year-old Shakira could do what they did.

One side is debating the appropriateness of women over certain age strutting their stuff publicly in sexy outfits, clearly blind to the fact that Maroon 5’s Adam Levine routinely goes bare-chested on stage, while 57-year-old Jon Bon Jovi still has female fans catcalling him to take his shirt off during concerts.

The other side is busy feeling “attacked” by J Lo or Shakira’s physical prowess; a woman as much as penning an essay to illustrate how much she felt judged by J Lo’s physique.

The roaring public, for the love of intelligent and benevolent God, shouldn’t have been this petty and disillusioned.

Yes, when I was a kid, anyone older than 35 looked old to me, but back then wellness centers were pretty scarce, so everyone older than 35 was aging helplessly under Indonesia’s glaring tropical sun. That’s not the case anymore.

Among a few things that developed along the rise of Indonesian middle class are well-run gyms, beauty clinics and basic knowledge to care for oneself — especially in urban areas.

Wellness centers come at a diversified price range as well, so Indonesian urbanites now have their pick the way the middle-class in developed countries have had their wellness pick decades ago.

Tips for workout and diet are abundant online, some come in the form of integrated apps downloadable for free. For those who want to sculpt the flesh after shedding weight, beauty clinics can be searched through Instagram.

You want to be fit after 35? You bloody well can. Indeed, you will need an army of round-the-clock personal dietician, chef, trainer and beautician to achieve the exact primeness of J Lo and Shakira, but being a much fitter, stronger and sexier version of yourself is not beyond reach for even the middle class nowadays.

I am a living witness to my close pals taking up more responsible lifestyles to become a healthier and happier bunch — with a special case of an ex-boss losing 18 kg within two years and now walking around not only appearing, but also as energized, as women two decades her junior.

It does take real discipline to achieve and maintain your goals, but you can be the J Lo or Shakira version of yourself if you dedicate as much fervor as gossiping about J Lo and Shakira as you do for exercising and dieting.

Even if you don’t want the hard work and prefer the stomach stapling and cosmetics surgery route, go ahead. Better that than you do nothing yet spewing jealous venom at people who bother to keep themselves fit.

Feeling judged by J Lo’s body? Oh my God, honey, that’s just your insecurity rearing its jealous head.

Madonna, J Lo, Shakira — these formidable women are in the cutthroat entertainment business where physical primeness is prerequisite. We’re not in that business, thank God, so we shouldn’t bother throwing ourselves onto the same wagon.

Make them an inspiration for disciplined lifestyle if you want, or find other inspiration. But to take it to the point of feeling “demanded” to equate, then judged by it, while J Lo doesn’t even know you from Eve, may well be a telltale sign of you needing to make peace with your demons.

And if the demand isn’t imagined but a real one coming from your romantic partner, unless he’s A-Rod what you need is a relationship counselor — not some hissy essay faulting J Lo for looking the way she does.

For the love of serene and smart God, who would’ve thought that Superbowl 2020 would bring out some super jealousy. I certainly didn’t. What’s wrong with you people? Sheeeeeesh.

-- Lynda Ibrahim is a Jakarta-based writer
with a penchant for purple, pussycats and pop culture.

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