The Globe’s Point – Super Bowl LIII rebirths ‘Nipplegate’

Written By Globe Editorial Staff

The Globe has spent the last few weeks focusing on and celebrating the lovely ladies of Point Park and the Downtown Pittsburgh community. This week we would like to talk about men and women, and one man in particular who ignited a 15-year-old debate.

But first, let’s talk about the human body. Maybe we all have yet to take an anatomy class or don’t even remember the science classes we took in high school. Regardless of education level, we can all agree on one thing: everybody has nipples.

If you don’t believe us, look down.

All genders, races, ethnicities and nationalities have nipples. This past Sunday, we at The Globe as well as everyone in attendance of Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and posted up at home in front of the television, witnessed Adam Levine unveil his own nipples in the midst of the halftime show.

Cue flashback to 2004. Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson performed for the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII. Jackson experienced a “wardrobe malfunction” when Timberlake ripped off more of her costume than he intended.

There had been speculations that the incident was planned rather than accidental, because Heaven forbid a human makes a mistake, but can we all just acknowledge that accidents happen and Jackson deserved none of the backlash she received following the nip slip? 15 years later, the backlash resurfaced in the wake of the Maroon 5 front man’s exposed chest. ESPN’s Katie Nolan tweeted, “Super Bowl halftime nipple rules feel inconsistent.”

Yes, the nipple rules are inconsistent and there is a clear double standard, but no, Adam Levine should not be criticized for performing shirtless.

If this situation can prove anything, it is that the conversation of inequality remains a hot debate in popular culture. Women are shamed for breastfeeding in public and a shirtless woman in place of a shirtless man at a beach on a hot day would receive countless gasps. Adam Levine stirred the pot and received the gasps this time around. The female nipple is no more inappropriate than the male nipple, and sexualization of the female nipple should come to an end.

Adam Levine and Janet Jackson did nothing wrong. It’s society’s way of thinking that is wrong.