Will Adam Levine Now Be The Subject Of A Career-Takedown, As Janet Jackson Was?

Or will we just continue to live with double-standards for men and women forever...

Adam Levine

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

This weekend, a major event in music and sport took place. If it weren’t for Twitter moments, you may have missed it, since half of Hollywood has essentially boycotted it this year - to the point that the best the bookers for the Super Bowl Halftime Show could get was Maroon 5 – the Super Bowl almost blissfully passed us by. Enter Adam Levine’s nipples, front and centre ready and waiting to cause a social media shitstorm.

If you’re confused why Adam Levine’s nipples matter, here’s the jist: towards the end the Maroon 5 set, Adam clearly got really tired of wearing that curtain-inspired vest and decided to remove it, throwing it into the crowd and gyrating his tattooed filled body while singing ‘moves like Jagger’. It was, as you would expect, no big deal. No shock and awe, no scream or crying, no career takedown ensuing.

Adam Levine
©Getty Images

Naturally, with this nonchalance nudity on the brain, viewers were taken back to a time when 0.16 seconds of accidental nudity sparked fury at this very show in 2004, during the infamous Janet Jackson ‘wardrobe malfunction’ when Justin Timberlake ripped her top. The most searched for news item in history, according to the Guinness World Records, the reveal of just one of Jackson’s nipples is still considered one of the most controversial television events in history. Yet, Adam Levine can double up on this nudity, revealing both nipples and his entire torso, with absolutely no consequences in sight.

Let’s just revisit for a second, in case you don’t realise just how much Janet Jackson’s career was impacted by this nip-slip. Jackson was forced to issue an apology, banned from appearing at the Grammys after being scheduled as a presenter and halted plans for her to star in a biographical film of Lena Horne. Statues mantled to honour her were removed, her music was blacklisted from radio and music channels mostly thanks to CBS CEO Les Moonves and reviews of her next album Damita Jo – previously dubbed to outsell her former release - were all focused around the incident impacting her sales hugely.

Essentially, she became the subject of a career takedown. Women’s naked bodies can be disproportionately used in art, film and to sell products but have half a nipple revealed on global television?! Outrage. Luckily for Jackson, her talent and legacy has kept her on top, but not for lack of misogynists trying to tear her down.

Will Levine face anywhere near the same consequences as Jackson? Unlikely, the double-standard has been pointed out time and time again by social media users and still were yet to hear a word from Levine, the NFL or CBS.

And honestly, an apology for the nudity is not what we need. Nudity doesn’t have to be outrageous, we’re happy for anyone and everyone to be able to rip their top off mid-performance. But what we do need is an apology to Janet Jackson, and due reparations paid. If Adam Levine can get away with showing his entire torso unscathed, the double-standard must be addressed.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us