FEATURING STEPHANIE ABRAHAM – It was a telling moment in the US when the Superbowl’s highly-anticipated advertisements were considered political simply for focusing on immigration, racial diversity, and women’s rights. In the context of our current political climate where Donald Trump is forcing through unpopular policies that demonize non-white males, simply showcasing the diverse beauty of the nation has now become a political act.
Ads by prominent companies like Budweiser as well as obscure ones like 84 Lumber expressed support for immigration. Audi’s ad challenged viewers to consider women’s pay inequality. And, 10 Haircare went the furthest, by celebrating different hair styles and textures while mocking Trump’s bad hair.
Meanwhile Lady Gaga’s elaborate half-time show, which was expected to take on Trump’s politics, ended up offering the least provocative message of the night. The closest that the pop superstar came to making a statement was to sing a verse of Woodie Guthrie’s political anthem, This Land is Your Land.
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Stephanie Abraham is a writer and media critic, she helped found two feminist magazines, make/shift and LOUDmouth. Her works have been published in McSweeney’s, Al Jazeera, Mizna, and Bitch Magazine. She is the Pop Culture Correspondent and Film Critic for Rising Up With Sonali.