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Adam Levine’s nipple-baring, shirtless Super Bowl number irks Janet Jackson fans

/ 05:44 PM February 04, 2019
Janet Jackson

In this June 28, 2015, file photo, Janet Jackson accepts the ultimate icon: music dance visual award at the BET Awards in Los Angeles. Jackson announced Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015, that she was postponing all upcoming dates on her Unbreakable world tour until the spring so that she could have surgery for an undisclosed medical condition. Image: Invision via AP

Why is it okay for Adam Levine to show his nipples at the Super Bowl, but not Janet Jackson? This was the question that pervaded much of Twitter today, Feb. 4 (Feb. 3 in the United States), after Maroon 5 delivered an uninspired performance during the halftime show.

Jackson’s 2004 Super Bowl performance, which has been dubbed “Nipplegate,” saw special guest Justin Timberlake rip off a piece of her clothing, thereby baring her nipple to the world. The act, which Timberlake described as an unintended “wardrobe malfunction,” caused a national controversy then and also inadvertently derailed Jackson’s career.

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Today, varied personalities expressed their sentiments on social media, wondering out loud how Levine could get away with baring his nipples in his performance, while Jackson’s career had to suffer for something similar. She only showed one breast and had a nipple shield after all, they argued.

“Why is it okay to see Adam Levine’s boobs and not Janet Jackson’s?” asked Emmy Award-winning actor-director Aisha Tyler. “Asking for a friend.”

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Comedian and blogger Korey Kuhl, meanwhile, reminded netizens that Jackson was blacklisted after her Super Bowl performance.

“Friendly reminder that Janet Jackson got blacklisted for doing what Adam Levine just did,” he said.

“Love how Adam Levine can take off his entire shirt and grind on the stage but Janet Jackson…” said Washington Bar Association chair Preston Mitchum with a gloss of sarcasm. “Never mind.”

Meanwhile, Charlotte Clymer of the Human Rights Campaign asked how Levine’s nipples are “acceptable” whereas Jackson was shamed for hers.

“This country should have a serious chat about why Adam Levine’s nipples are, uh, apparently ‘acceptable’ on TV, but Janet Jackson was shamed and blacklisted for something she didn’t even do. #SuperBowl.”

Clymer went on to say she was not shaming Levine’s body in any way

“Just annoyed with this ridiculous goddamn double standard of sexualizing women in public life in every conceivable context,” she said. “But men can just do whatever the hell they want?”

Actress Abigail Breslin echoed Clymer’s opinions, saying it is “messed up” how Jackson was chastised for something deemed acceptable for Levine.

“It’s messed up that society [deems] it acceptable for him to be shirtless during the halftime show and Janet Jackson was chastised because her breast was accidentally exposed at the same event,” Breslin stated.

Similar reactions were observed when Timberlake returned to perform at the Super Bowl last February 2018. Many personalities and netizens then thought it apt that Timberlake should apologize to Jackson for ruining her career. JB

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Janet Jackson: I’m not performing at Super Bowl with Justin Timberlake 

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TAGS: Adam Levine, black women, double standards, Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, patriarchy, sexism, white male privilege
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