Adam Levine accidentally started a huge sexism debate at the Super Bowl

Here's what you need to know...

Here's what you need to know...

This weekend saw the Super Bowl LIII, with the New England Patriots coming out victorious over the Los Angeles Rams.

A lot of people however don’t tune in for the sport, but instead for the halftime music concert, with past performers including everyone from Beyonce and Lady Gaga to Coldplay and Katy Perry.

This year’s live act was Maroon 5, and despite the high hopes, their performance brought in a lot of online hate.

Yes, Adam Levine was mocked for his dad dancing and barely touching the guitar he had around him, but the real storm was caused by what he was wearing - or rather, what he wasn’t wearing.


The 39-year-old Maroon 5 singer took his shirt off during his performance, spending a lot of the concert topless, something that prompted viewers to call out as unfair.

Back in 2004, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake were the half time Super Bowl performance, with JT accidentally ripping Janet’s top mid-routine, revealing the singer’s breast and becoming the most famous wardrobe malfunction of all time.

Despite the fact that she was wearing a nipple shield, Janet was essentially ostracised due to ‘nipple-gate’ as it has become known, even having to make a public apology.

It’s hardly surprising therefore that viewers were angered when Adam Levine stripped off with ease on-stage to cheers, when Janet Jackson’s accident stunted her career.

‘So now that Adam Levine showed his nipples in the Halftime Show he owes a giant fee and his career is ruined, right?’, one angry fan posted, while another wrote: ‘How come Adam Levine gets to show his nipples and Janet doesn’t?’.

Fans called out the double standard as ‘casual sexism’, with one posting, ‘I’m sorry that Adam Levine’s career will now be ruined since he showed his nipples at the halftime show’.

Neither Adam nor Janet have made a statement.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.