Bleats

Why Does Adam Levine Get To Show His Nipples At The Super Bowl, But We Still Don't Have Justice For Janet?

Some nips are more free than others.

Once everyone got over how dull the entire 2019 Super Bowl was, from the game to Maroon 5’s flaccid half-time performance, an actually interesting question emerged from the depths of the internet:

Why does Adam Levine get to show his nipples at the Super Bowl?

This is not just being asked because people find the tatts on the only recognisable member of Maroon 5 to be questionable.

When Levine removed his shirt halfway through the show, he showed two nipples, and everyone was like, whatever.

But in 2004, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake accidentally showed one of her nipples (partially covered by a pieces of silver jewellery) and it cost the network millions of dollars, inspired the creation of YouTube, and derailed Jackson’s career.

The thing is, we know exactly why Adam Levine’s nipples are not a problem, and Janet Jackson’s are.

Women’s nipples are sexualised, and men’s are not.

It’s a ridiculous double standard fuelled by the male gaze, by the insistence that this one specific part of the female body is, above all else, about sex and desire; they’re treated as inherently dirty and naughty, no matter how their owner sees them.

The #FreeTheNipple campaign has been talking about this for years, but still they’re not allowed on Instagram, they’re not allowed in public – because, what, someone might have a wank about them? Most of the time, for people who have them, boobs are about as sexy as an elbow and not nearly as convenient. But according to, y’know, Society, they’re a liability, a distraction, an unfair advantage, a trick we’re playing on straight men.

That is surely the only explanation for the question we’ve never actually had answered: why was Janet Jackson punished for Nipplegate, and Justin Timberlake, who was the one who actually messed up the bra rip, wasn’t?

CBS, the network that broadcast the 9/16ths of a second of un-bra’d boob was fined half a million dollars by the US censorship body, which insisted Janet and Justin had planned to unveil the boob deliberately.

CBS head Les Moonves (who, just as a side note, was decisively MeToo’d last year) was apparently “obsessed” with ending Jackson’s career – but not JT’s.

Yeah, mate, because every woman dreams of having her wildly successful career reduced to a punchline because of that time everyone saw one of her norks.

True justice will never be served until Janet Jackson returns to the Super Bowl halftime show, with a guest appearance by Beyoncé, and everyone’s boobs are out the entire time, and Justin Timberlake is dancing in an assless tuxedo in a go-go cage up the back without touching anyone.

Hey, they had male cheerleaders this year. Anything could happen.

The Rams Lost The Super Bowl, But Their History-Making Male Cheerleaders Won Over The Internet

They're sexy, they're cute, they're groundbreaking to boot.

Cheerleading isn’t just a sideline spectacle – it’s a sport. You’ve seen Bring It On, you know how hard they work (and you might even know how little they get paid).

Of course, Bring It On also educated us on another important point: there are cheerleaders who are dudes.

And this year’s Super Bowl saw history being made, with male cheerleaders performing at the event for the first time ever. Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies have been on the Los Angeles Rams squad all season, and just became the first men to be part of a Super Bowl dance team.

“If you have the talent and skill set, you shouldn’t be discriminated on the basis of sex,” a Rams spokesperson said simply.

The Rams aren’t the only franchise to have a more inclusive cheer squad this season – the New Orleans Saints debuted Jesse Hernandez as part of their dance team.

And the Baltimore Ravens have male members of their “stunt team” – burly dudes who who don’t participate in the full choreography, but help throw the dance team members in the air, and other such feats of strength.

Jinnies, Peron and Hernandez are full-fledged members of their cheer teams, though, and the two Rams looked absolutely stoked to be there on Sunday night.

In a game where there was more fun to be had in roasting the half-time performance than actually watching the play, their energy and the inclusivity on show was a clear highlight.

Of course, if you care to, you can go and find any number of well-adjusted adults being whiny little babies about this on the internet.

Here’s the thing, though: if you object to men being cheerleaders, it’s pretty obvious exactly what you think cheerleaders add to the atmosphere.

Of course, given that the ladies in the Rams’ squad were wearing a bit less than Jinnies and Peron, a few people did point out that true equality would see everyone on the squad wearing similar uniforms.

And look, that would probably be a bit much for the geniuses commenting “gaaAyyyayyyy” under every online mention of the milestone.

Which, to be honest, makes me hope it’s wall-to-wall dudes in booty shorts at Super Bowl LIV next year.

Naomi Osaka Claimed Her Second Grand Slam Title, Only To Be Interviewed By A Male Journo About Shopping And Smiling

"Beyond embarrassing - rude, patronising, boring, awkward."

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka became the women’s Australian Open champ in a decisive match against Petra Kvitova on Saturday night – and then got to celebrate with a “dumpster fire” interview by sports broadcaster Tony Jones.

First off, Jones admired Osaka’s ability to carry her trophy from the court to the studio: “all that way!”

Then, as the 21-year-old champ grinned politely while she cast about for a polite response, Jones said, “There’s that smile!”

Anyone know how often Novak Djokovic gets told to smile more?

Next, Jones asked Osaka how she planned to spend the prize money, a cheque for $4.1 million, and suggested she could “pump some of that back into the economy”.

Because women be shopping, amirite?

He even began a question by asking “You regard yourself as Japanese…”

Mate, she is Japanese. Her half-Haitian parentage and American accent have been oddly confusing for a lot of people, but she represents Japan, and it’s literally his job to know what country people are from.

Come on, her last name’s Osaka – it’s like an Aussie player being called Naomi Melbourne.

Many people were wondering why Jones was leading the interview with Osaka when he was sitting right next to Jim Courier.

Jones had also been criticised for the wildly awkward moment where he forgot there are Asian people at the Asia-Pacific region’s Grand Slam tournament:

Osaka’s already had her first Grand Slam win marred by the controversy over opponent Serena Williams’ attitude, and her Australian Open run also saw a whitewashing controversy in her native Japan, where an anime-style noodle ad depicted her as a pale-skinned woman. 

Jones’ comments are reminiscent of the incident at the 2018 Ballon D’Or ceremony, where the first ever women’s prize winner was asked (jokingly) to twerk onstage. 

It’s just not that hard, lads: if you’re interviewing a woman who is good at the sports, just ask her the same questions you’d ask a dude who is good at the sports.

She’s a professional – you should be too.

Anyway, in unrelated news, here’s a video of that time Jones tried to smooch a colleague and got shut down entirely.  

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