Skip to content

Hot Topics- Super Bowl Half Time Show: Empowering or Objectifying? Whole 30: Science Backed Or Fad Diet?

​Hot Topics- Super Bowl Half Time: Empowering or
Objectifying? Whole 30: Science-based or Fad Diet?
Kim: [00:00:04] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I’m your host, Kim Schlag.
On today’s episode, I have Amanda Howell with me. Amanda is a nutritionist and a public
health educator. Amanda and I had selected a topic to discuss together today and, in the
meantime, a hot topic came up that we were both spending an awful lot of time chatting
about in our Instagram stories: Sunday night’s halftime show at the Super Bowl.
Now, Amanda and I did not see eye to eye on what we saw and what it meant, um, how
people were reacting to it, and so I asked her if she would be okay if we kind of hashed it out
here together on the podcast. In the end, we agree on more than I had anticipated, which is
a good thing, right? You get two people who seem to disagree and bring them together and
you can find some common ground.
So, we talk about what we saw with J-Lo and Shakira — was it empowering? Was it
objectifying? I’d be interested to hear your opinion on that as well. So that’s part one of the
episode. After that dive into our originally scheduled topic, which is Whole 30. If you’ve done
a round of Whole 30, if you’re considering doing a round of Whole 30 this will be of interest
to you.
We talk about what Whole 30 is, what we see that’s good about it, what we see that’s
problematic about it is it, is it science-based, and what our recommendations about Whole
30 are for you. So, tune in, give it a listen, and let me know what you think.
Well hello, Amanda. Welcome to the Fitness Simplified Podcast.
Amanda: [00:01:40] Hi. Thank you for having me.
Kim: [00:01:42] I am thrilled we could make this work. Now you’re calling from the beautiful
Rocky Mountains in Colorado, correct?
Amanda: [00:01:48] I am — and not so beautiful right now. It was 74 degrees 24 hours ago
and now we have about eight inches of snow.
Kim: [00:01:55] Wait, it was 74 degrees in Colorado?
Amanda: [00:01:58] It was beautiful. I was outside the tee shirt and then I woke up and it
was snowing.
Kim: [00:02:02] But snowing at this time of year is what you expect, right?
Amanda: [00:02:06] Not really. A lot of people think Colorado is super snowy– if you’re
along the front range, so in like the Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins area — it’s actually super
mild. It’s about 50 degrees and sunny most of the year. And then obviously in the summer
we get the higher 90-degree days, but not overly snowy down here. If we want snow, we
have to go up into the mountains.

Kim: [00:02:23] Okay. That is shocking to me. Clearly, I know nothing about Colorado
geography.
Amanda: [00:02:28] Everyone thinks that, everyone. They’re like, are you in an igloo all the
time? Nope, not really.
Kim: [00:02:34] Wow. So, if you want to go to the mountains and have snow, usually, is it
just a quick drive?
Amanda: [00:02:39] Oh yeah. I mean, you can get up into even the closer ski resorts and
maybe about 45 minutes, and then the farther ones can be up to two hours.
But yeah. So basically, if you, if you want snow, if you want snowboarding, head out, get
your fill, come back down. It’s usually sunny and nice down here.
Kim: [00:02:56] I had no idea. That’s, that’s amazing. We actually– so I’m just outside
Philadelphia and we had a beautiful day yesterday as well. It was almost 60 degrees here
and that’s bizarre for this time of year here.
Amanda: [00:03:08] Yeah, I was seeing everybody’s posts across the country and everyone
was like, “it’s so nice, the sun is out.”
Kim: [00:03:14] h well, well at least we got one good day cause it’s raining back here now.
Amanda: [00:03:18] Oh, bummer.
Kim: [00:03:19] Yeah, I know. But you know, I was happy with the one good day. So, for
those of you listening who do not know, Amanda, Amanda and I, well, we know– I’m putting
that in quotation marks. We know each other. It’s so funny how Instagram works. I feel like I
know all these people and I’m like, you really don’t know them, Kim. So, Amanda and I are
friendly on Instagram. Amanda has an amazing account. Amanda, shout out your handle
now. And we’ll do it again.
Amanda: [00:03:42] It’s just @amandahowellhealth, all one word
Kim: [00:03:45] And two L’s, right?
Amanda: [00:03:46] Yes.
Kim: [00:03:47] In Howell, okay, so Amanda has an amazing page.
She talks about nutrition. She’s a nutritionist, and you have a master’s in public health,
correct? Did I get that right?
Amanda: [00:03:56] Yeah, that’s right.
Kim: [00:03:58] And she talks about health and she talks about nutrition and she talks about
fitness and what I really love, Amanda, your posts go in so deep, you don’t just kind of touch
on a subject, you really dive deep. And I love that.

their– they have an online course, I’m taking it with my daughter right now, learning about
body image. And their whole premise is that our bodies are not ornaments, that we are not
here for other people’s viewing pleasure yet we are so often in that mindset, we actually
look at ourselves through the lens of how are other people seeing us. And that’s what I saw
watching that game. I really saw it through what was happening with that camera. And I
went back and compared last year show, and then I compared, even, I don’t know what year
it was that Beyoncé was there with Coldplay, and, um, Bruno Mars, and it’s very interesting
that the women — it is about their bodies. The way the camera follows them, the angles, it’s
coming up. No one is doing that with the men. And even, if we come back to the clothing
aspect, the men are always completely clothed and honestly can show up– it’s the honesty
looks like, like Chris Martin just like rolled out of bed, like just showed up with his tee shirt
on, right? The women are never wearing pants. Is it because they’re choosing it or is it
because they know that that’s the rules of the game? They show up and they’re looked at.
Amanda: [00:11:15] Well, and that’s where you and I, we are totally in agreement there. It’s
the differences between the camera men and how they’re shooting.
I mean, we can’t put that on J-Lo or Shakira. That’s not their responsibility, you know? And
that’s like an entire separate discussion too, it’s how the media portrays women. If we had
the exact same camerawork on, you know, any gentleman up there that we had on women,
I think it would have been a lot less sexualized.
Kim: [00:11:45] I think you’re absolutely right. And it happens over and over and over in so
many different ways, and I, I don’t think people– I don’t think it’s actually at all recognized in
people’s mind that that’s what they’re viewing and that it’s different at all.
People kept showing the pictures of Adam Levine yesterday, next to J-Lo, and that’s why I
went back and watched it. There’s just not the same tone. It’s just not at all.
Amanda: [00:12:07] No, I mean, we all saw the camera zooming in on boobs and butts, and
that’s unfortunately, again, we can’t put that responsibility on the women performing.
That’s not, it’s not their responsibility. That’s on the people who are portraying the
performance on the media. And again, whole separate conversation. I don’t even know
where to start with that one. It’s a mess.
Kim: [00:12:30] It is a mess. And for me, that’s when I– when I got on my stories and was
talking about like what I saw at the Super Bowl and why I didn’t think it was appropriate.
A lot of what I have to say, the first thing I noticed, like I think J-Lo and Shakira are amazingly
talented. I think that, you know, they have so much– they have worked so hard and I do not
feel that their message– look, they clearly had a big political statement or two to make up
there, and I feel that it was not, it’s not looked upon in the same way as a man making that
kind of political statement because the message was so
overwhelmingly about their bodies.
How much of that was them versus how much of it was the producers and the, you know,
whoever’s in charge of shooting that thing, I don’t know. But I feel like their message, that

was so important, both, it was only there because they were allowed to be there being
sexual beings and it’s just so overwhelmingly about their bodies.
Amanda: [00:13:22] Yeah, well, and kind of looking at it from a cultural perspective too, one
of the– two of the things I was noticing that I was, I was having a really hard time with was
first, the slut-shaming. Just because you, and I’m saying this, you know, generally speaking,
you, a person, tends to be more modest absolutely does not give you permission to shame
another woman for the length of her skirt. It’s unacceptable, always, across the board, all
the time. So that was one of the issues I was having, first and foremost. And then second,
not many people that I saw posting are familiar with the Latino style of dance.
It’s very much about your hips and your movement and your body and just because we, as
Americans, don’t understand or don’t agree, doesn’t mean we get to take it out of context
and then shame or sexualize it. What Shakira was doing, if you actually dig in and learn
about it, it’s really interesting. I mean, she pulled in her Colombian background, she pulled in
her Arabic background, her Lebanese background.
It was insane how much she put into that performance and all anybody saw was, you know,
her, her underwear showing. You know what I mean? Like it was just people focused on the
absolute wrong part of that.
Kim: [00:14:53] Yeah. And how much of that– look, I totally get what you’re saying and I
agree. I think that the styles of dance that we’re used to in America are definitely, um…
Amanda: [00:15:03] Conservative or reserved.
Kim: [00:15:04] Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And so, you know, that’s not at all what was up
there. And I will say, is it possible, had she done all of those things you just described, which
were amazing and exotic, and you know, a nod to her cultural heritage and how amazing for
all of those people. And I saw lots of people who were like, wow, I feel seen and heard and
that’s amazing. What if she had done all of those things without the edge of sexuality that
had nothing to do with those things. Right? So, what if she was doing those things and we
weren’t having camera shots of her underwear and her and J-Lo weren’t grabbing their
crotches and their boobs so much, which has nothing to do with anybody’s cultural heritage,
frankly.
What if they weren’t doing those things? Could we have appreciated the message and the
beauty of, you know, the dances of her various cultures better? Would we have– would we
have been able to receive it differently?
Amanda: [00:15:56] Could the camera work and been better? Absolutely. Yeah. I don’t
know, and I don’t know, again, how to, how to even breach that subject, um, it’s like a whole
different, whole different post, but yeah, I guess at the same time, it’s just are– do people
have the capacity, though, to understand? Because honestly– and I’m always reluctant to
say this kind of stuff, but based on some of the comments I see, I don’t know if people are
willing to look beyond their box. I think they just want to yell and shame sometimes, and
that’s bad.

Kim: [00:16:28] Yeah, I think you’re right. I think there’s definitely been a lot of just yelling
and shaming and just knee-jerk reaction, um, to, to what they saw for sure.
Amanda: [00:16:37] I was very impressed. I had a few people reach out to me and say, I
totally had this knee-jerk reaction, and then I actually, you know, read your posts and I dug
into it a little deeper and I learned so much about Shakira’s background and I changed my,
you know, my viewpoint towards this. And I was like, that, that’s incredible. I love it– with
me as well, I feel like the sign of intelligence is being able to take that initial, like a gut
reaction, sit with it for a second, explore a little further, open your mind a little bit and say,
“oh shoot. I was totally looking at that through a very limited lens.”
Kim: [00:17:18] Yeah, absolutely. I agree with you and it, and it can be hard and I think it
challenged a lot of people. Um, we’re going to have to move on to Whole 30 here in just a
second, but…
Amanda: [00:17:26] We need a whole different podcast on this.
Kim: [00:17:28] I know, I know. It was just so interesting. I have to tell you, I spent far too
much of my time and emotional energy on the Super Bowl yesterday.
I had a whole list of things I did not get done because I think this is, I think it’s important. You
know, there is such different ideas like was it empowering? Was it not empowering? And
the, the quote this morning, the whole post from beauty redefined, I really appreciated
’cause they, their viewpoint was that it was both. It was both empowering and it was
objectifying.
Um, and I’m going to read this a little bit of this– I don’t know what you think about this, I’d
be curious to hear. Objectification is complicated. It diminishes our empowerment by
distracting us, draining us, and destroying our self-worth due to a fixation on how others
perceive us. It always has and it always will. Still there’s no denying that playing by the rules
of objectification can have its rewards and open up doors that are closed to those who won’t
or can’t play.
And that’s kind of what I saw on the stage there is like, two powerful women, but they’re up
there on the biggest stage still being objectified.
Amanda: [00:18:28] Well, and it’s, it’s– I love that post, by the way. That’s why I put it in my
stories for another perspective. Um, but it’s also so hard because it’s like how, how much of
it, and I don’t want to use the word fault, but I feel like for lack of better, for lack of better
words, how much of it was their fault or how much of it was how the media hypersexualizes
and portrays women. It’s just so challenging.
Kim: [00:18:51] It is. It is. So, I guess what we’re going to leave everyone with this discussion
is we have more questions than answers.
Amanda: [00:18:57] It’s just a messy middle on everything.

Kim: [00:19:01] It is. It is. Absolutely. All right. Well, let’s move on to a totally different
subject. We’re going to switch gears here. So, as I said, Amanda has very in-depth posts