Adam Levine performed topless at the 2019 Super Bowl half time show last night, drawing comparisons with Janet Jackson’s so-called ‘Nipplegate’ incident at the same event in 2004.
Whipping off his top shortly into his performance at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the Maroon 5 singer bared his nipples to around 111.3 million viewers globally.
While many viewers were thrilled by the unexpected sight of the 39-year-old’s nude torso, others claimed there was a gender double standard present.
On Twitter, viewers compared the lack of any criticism towards Levine to the enraged response Jackson, 52, received when she bared one nipple 15 years ago.
More than one person claimed to be “outraged”, while others called the Super Bowl rules “inconsistent”.
— sans Care (@Madjora77) February 4, 2019
WHY CAN ADAM SHOW HIS NIPS BUT JANET CANT #superbowl
— Kaitlyn Bristowe (@kaitlynbristowe) February 4, 2019
Super Bowl halftime nipple rules feel inconsistent
— Katie Nolan (@katienolan) February 4, 2019
— Nicolás🇨🇴 (@itsnicolasze) February 4, 2019
For those of you struggling to recall Janet Jackson’s infamous 2004 performance, let us provide a refresher.
Jackson performed a medley of her songs in the coveted show spot, with surprise guest Justin Timberlake arriving for a duet of his song, ‘Rock Your Body’, at the end.
As part of the grand finale, Timberlake pulled off a part of Jackson’s costume to reveal her right breast, which remained visible for a mere moment.
While Jackson’s publicist later claimed the exposed breast was an accident, the incident was widely criticised with CBS – the network who broadcast the Super Bowl – releasing public apologies.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also fined CBS a then-record $550,000, although this was later overturned by the Court of Appeals.
Not everyone took issue with Levine’s topless performance, with many praising the singer’s toned body.
Idc what the internet says, I’ll take a shirtless Adam Levine any day ! pic.twitter.com/ayaz9QfE44
— Melanie Renee (@iamMelRenee) February 4, 2019
Adam Levine shirtless oop suddenly I’m continuing to watch pic.twitter.com/iVhVMdhOrm
— brit (@crossrauhls) February 4, 2019
Adam Levine shirtless was all I needed out of this game.
— Life of Brodes (@lifeofbrodes) February 4, 2019
i think we can all agree that the most exciting part of the night was Adam Levine shirtless am I right #SuperBowl
— christen (@ceeeb_) February 4, 2019
Meanwhile, Levine is yet to respond directly to the “Nipplegate” controversy. However, he did post on Instagram shortly after his performance to “thank the universe” for the opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl.
View this post on Instagram
When we accepted the responsibility to perform at the SBHTS, I took out my pen and just wrote. Some of the words that came to me in that moment eventually made their way onto the incredible lanterns that flew high and low tonight. We thank the universe for this historic opportunity to play on the world’s biggest stage. We thank our fans for making our dreams possible. And we thank our critics for always pushing us to do better. One Love. ❤️ And the list of words is… Forgive Laugh Cry Smile Share Live Endure Embrace Remember Enlighten Preserve Inspire Sweat Fight Express Give Receive Elevate Climb Unify Fortify Soften Dance Scream Dream Educate Provide Inhale Exhale Persevere Stand Kneel Overcome Love Listen
A post shared by Adam Levine (@adamlevine) on Feb 3, 2019 at 5:44pm PST
This isn’t the first time double standards surrounding nipples have been addressed in recent months.
Last November, a debate over whether women should be forced to wear a bra at work – when male colleagues might have visible nipples – went viral on Netmums.
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