Last night my 13 year old interrupted my very impassioned rendition of Yertle the Turtle, which I was reading to his little brother before bedtime.
“Mommy! Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull just performed on the American Music Awards and it was nasty!”
“What do you mean nasty?”
“Jennifer Lopez was barely wearing anything, first of all.”
“Okay, not shocking.”
“No, but she like put her butt near Pitbull’s… you-know, and Pitbull looked like, all happy, of course.”
(The 10 year old giggles.)
I answered my 13 year old with something like, “Yeah? Well, you know how Pitbull is, honey,” and I went back to the story. I mean, it’s JLo and Pitbull. It’s the American Music Awards… what did he expect? We have these conversations often enough. I’ve told him, sex sells. I’ve told him that at some point very soon (if not already), he will find performances and images like these to be spectacular rather than “nasty.” I’ve told him that no matter how strong certain urges may be and despite what the culture says is appropriate – he should always treat women with respect.
Then this morning I came across a photo from the performance which he had described to me and it made me think.
(I can’t use the photo here since it’s owned by Getty Images. Click the link above to see the original. Here are some screenshots I took from video.)
What can be said about these photos? I’ll admit that my first reaction was to laugh – (partly because it appears that Pitbull’s pants aren’t flat in the front and partly because I imagine Marc Anthony watching this from the sidelines.)
Look, total honesty here – I love both JLo and Pitbull. I listen to their music and think they are both talented individuals and exceptional entertainers. Pitbull is one of the very few artists that I’m willing to actually buy the album from, because I love every song and know I can dance through the entire CD from beginning to end. As a woman, I get kind of disgusted with the constant objectification of women in his music – but as a music lover, I can’t get enough. It’s a moral contradiction that I’m totally aware of.
After that initial amused reaction though, the photo also made me kind of sad. Here is JLo, one of the most successful Latinas in the world, bending over for Pitbull like an endless number of women have happily done for him before being tossed aside like used Kleenex.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a meaningless performance meant to entertain and nothing should be read into it. I know it was just a choreographed dance, a music awards moment that lasted for no more than 10 seconds and will ultimately be forgotten – but it just seems symbolic of how women, (Latina and otherwise), are viewed and consequently treated.
The cultural message: No matter how smart, how successful, how kind or talented you are, in the end, chicas, this is what you’re good for.
A peso for your thoughts, gente.
Tomorrow we go to the Copa de Oro (Gold Cup) quarterfinal games in D.C. – That’s right, plural – games! … I totally didn’t even realize that it was a doubleheader, which means two games one after the other at the same venue which are attended with the same ticket. So not only will I get to see the U.S. team play against Jamaica, I get to see the game right after it. Do you know whose playing?
EL SALVADOR vs. Panama! … I’m freaking out. The only way this could be more chévere is if Chicharito showed up and bought me a beer, but let’s keep things realistic, shall we?
Our tickets are supposed to be at “will call” which makes me nervous, but I’m told this is a reliable way to do things and I don’t have a choice in the matter, so primero a Dios and fingers crossed. The reason it makes me nervous is because these games are todo sold-out. I have a feeling it’s going to be crazy getting in. A friend who will be at the game advised us to arrive hours early, partly to avoid a really long line and also to enjoy the pre-game atmosphere. You’re going to have a parqueo full of guanacos, panameños, Jamaicans, gringos and a mix of others … I don’t know how hard everyone else parties, but the Salvadorans alone will make plenty of noise and fun – not to mention that they’re clever business people and I’m sure a lot of ventas will be going on. If Suegra were coming, (which she’s not!) I know she’d be out there hustling, selling pupusas, hand-embroidered delantales, joya, and whatever else she could carry.
Like I said, Suegra is staying home to watch the cipotes so it seems we’re ready for the games – except what to wear?
Carlos and I have been looking everywhere for a shirt to wear to the game. You would think we owned a La Selecta shirt but every time we asked Suegra to bring us one, she’d come back with tourist T-shirts. One time she got closer and brought us a team shirt for Chalatenango, but purple stripes are not as cool as “La Azul” – (not to mention, the shirt is too small – the chorizo look is not a good one.)
So we went to various sporting goods stores. One store we went to I asked where their soccer shirts are and the guy said, “Um, we don’t have… soccer…shirts… We have soccer balls?” … The other store had a U.S. MLS shirt, but it was $50… So not happening.
We tried department stores, where I found a really cool shirt for El Tri, which, (while I still want it), would have been an inappropriate choice for the game. (I may wear my “Mexico Numero Uno” shirt here at home and deal with the wrath of Carlos and Suegra, but I’m not tonta enough to wear it in a stadium full of Salvadorans.)
Wally World was also no good. They have a lot of patriotic shirts due to the season, but not anything I would be caught dead wearing. (Glittery kittens with fireworks? Seriously? People like this?)
Finally I had the idea to make a shirt. I bought a nice bright blue T-shirt for $3 and some iron-on letters… but what to write?
That’s when I remembered my new favorite player – Salvadoran, Dennis Alas.
While I was watching El Salvador play Cuba on television, I noticed that the commentator kept referring to one of the players as “Pitbull.” I thought this was just a silly, quirky thing that this particular commentator had come up with, but after searching the internet a little, I found out that Dennis Alas is known as the “Salvadoran Pitbull” – (I’m thinking it’s the shaved head.)
After reading more about the player and looking up video of some of his past goals – I’ve really come to like him.
He actually didn’t score any goals against Cuba. Here’s him missing one though. Oops.
No me importa. His nickname is too chivo for me not to like him and I think he has potential.
So anyhow, Dennis “Pitbull” Alas inspired me to create a camisa for the game. I think I will be the only person in the stadium, (or in the world), with this one-of-a-kind shirt. If you watch the games mañana, look for me.
Disclosure: I will be attending the CONCACAF Copa de Oro/Gold Cup games at the invitation of State Farm. All opinions are my own.
I intended to share my trip chronologically but it wouldn’t be nice to make you wait more for the part you really want to hear about – la alfombra roja (red carpet), and the actual Latin Billboard Awards show.
Cuban sandwiches and other randomness, while worthy of sharing with you, are not as exciting as the main event, so here we go. (I’ll tell you about the sandwich más tarde.)
We arrived at the red carpet and first we were seated in the bleachers with the fans. After a little while, we were given the option to move to the press area where it would be possible to actually speak with celebrities who chose to stop, with the caveat that we would have to stand for over 2 hours. I didn’t think twice – I wanted to be with the press.
(Thanks to CityChicOnline.com for the dress!)
When I got to the press area my hands started to shake. I caught a glimpse of a white cowboy hat and my heart fluttered, thinking it was Espinoza Paz. One of the blogueras who has a lot more experience with these kinds of events, kindly gave me some advice, reminding me that to gain respect I couldn’t freak out.
I think I did pretty well, despite an unintentional gasp here and there – like when Prince Royce gave me a shout-out.
Many celebrities stopped to talk, even shaking hands and giving hugs or a kiss on the cheek. One handsome telenovela actor was so close to me that I could smell the cologne on his skin and it wasn’t like he had put too much on or anything, (can’t remember which actor it was pero qué rico se huele!) I chatted up the cast of the new mun2 show, RPM Miami for a minute or two – but you know my heart was set on finding Espinoza Paz and Pitbull.
Pitbull did walk by, but didn’t stop to chat.
And it was cool to meet El Trono de Mexico.
I told one of the guys from El Trono, “Me gustan tus botas picudas!” and he smiled.
More photos! (From Gloria Estefan to Marc Anthony and actors from telenovelas like Reina del Sur…
Here are some photos of the celebrities that came into the press area of the red carpet. Some stopped to talk, others just posed for photos. How many musicians and actors do you recognize?
Espinoza Paz never did pass by the press area – I’m not even sure he walked the red carpet. I felt a little heartbroken. I tried to spot him in the audience but wasn’t sure. At one point, I saw someone in a black cowboy hat come in late. I wonder if it was him?
I spotted Pitbull in his seat.
The stage set-up was super awesome. There were three stages and the one in the middle extended further into the audience. The stage had areas cut out that looked like little pools, where some very lucky fans got to stand. Stages left and right were cube shaped with walls that moved up and down. I loved the colorful lights and the feeling of the bass.
I video taped some of my favorite performances between tweeting:
One song I absolutely love that I neglected to video tape: Me Duele by Roberto Tapia. I loved the couples dancing quebradita during this performance.
The last performance of the evening – Pitbull. I don’t understand how he didn’t win anything. He brought the house down, (the shaky video is evidence of this. I was dancing.)
The last award of the night, “Artist of the Year” – went to Enrique Iglesias. To thank his fans he ran out into the audience. He ran by my section, maybe 20 feet away but I didn’t try to touch his hand. A lot of people were out of their seats and trying to do just that. I like Enrique but not enough to risk falling down stairs or getting crushed. Had it been Espinoza, that’s another story.
Disclosure: I went to the Latin Billboard Awards in Miami at the invitation of Telemundo. All opinions are my own.