The "wardrobe malfunction" is a phenomenon I confess I wasn't really aware of until Super Bowl XXXVIII. Half of us at the party were watching the actual Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake halftime show, the other half were watching the South Park (or was it Family Guy?) episode running at the same time. I was in the latter category, and even after everyone came storming into the room with the big screen TV to make us rewind The Incident 20 times, I failed to see what the big deal was. "Her nipple wasn't even bare," I thought, "No one will care about this."
The thing is, aside from ensuring Super Bowl audiences will never see a halftime performers younger than 50 ever again (the list since: Paul McCartney, Aaron Neville, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty, Bruuuuce, and the Who), Jackson's nipple slip has opened the floodgates for a slew of similar incidents. Rather than taking precautions to keep that sort of thing from happening again, today's (overwhelmingly female) performers continue to dress in a manner most likely to lead to unexpected nudity.
As disillusioning as it is to realize record companies encourage young women to dress like strippers in order to succeed in the music industry, it's more disappointing to see presumably powerful women in that same industry (Beyonce, Lady Gaga) continue to stick to the party line.
Anyway, here are some of the more infamous recent examples. It gets extremely not safe for work after the jump.
Hard as it may be to believe, the singer who made her bones dressing like a naughty Catholic schoolgirl and dancing at the VMAs with a snake has suffered for her progressively skimpier outfits. In 2009 in Tampa, for example, her crotch became exposed after "Slave 4 U." I'm not sure what's more surprising: that her decidedly lackadaisical performance led to nudity, or that her mic was ever keyed to record live audio.
It wasn't exactly unplanned, but Pink swung around on the stage at the 2009 VMAs with one breast hanging out. That I never even heard about this until working on this piece tells you all we need to know about how much of a big deal the media makes out of this stuff anymore.
Perry is famed for her tight, unforgiving concert wardrobe, and she's occasionally suffered for it.
Not even Mrs. Jay-Z is safe from the vagaries of wind and, well, going commando. The question remains...now that she's sold over 75 million records and is one of the biggest stars on the planet, can't she start wearing underpants?
It seems obvious, but maybe a stage routine that incorporates a lot of bouncing isn't the best choice when wearing a two sizes too small bustier. GMA agrees. 500 dudes in the audience with cell phone cameras don't.
THIS JUST IN! Though to be fair, her only real mistake seems to be miscalculating practical hem lengths, and wearing practical underwear.
In something of a deviation from the norm, Carey actually started out fairly conservative (remember "Vision of Love?"), but has gotten more risque in concert as the years have passed. Now, there are entire web pages devoted solely to her...slips.
Well, that's one way to one-up your former bandmate. For real, though: was that costume actually supposed to conceal her breasts at any point?
Lest anyone think I'm picking on women. Granted, the odds you've seen Norwegian black metal outfit Taake live are pretty slim, but maybe I've given you a reason to seek them out
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But probably not.
The Grand Dame of the Fashion Faux Pas hasn't been quite as visible in the years since Super Bowl XXXVIII. Another casualty of the FCC. Justin Timberlake, on the other hand, is more popular than ever, mostly for singing about his dick, which we still haven't seen. Funny old world.