On February 1, 2004, the American television station CBS aired the event which culminates every season of the National Football League (NFL), the Super Bowl. Broadcast to 90 million people, the Super Bowl has a nationwide audience of viewers of all ages and backgrounds. During this game, the halftime show entertainment featured a duet between pop music entertainers Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson. At the end of their song, Timberlake completed a choreographed move where he tore at Jackson’s clothing. This motion caused an unexpected and actual tear of her costume thus causing a few seconds where her breast was exposed to the audience. Nearly instantly, public outrage ensued over the broadcast nudity, which resulted in Jackson now famously blaming the incident on a wardrobe malfunction. As Joe Flint of the LA Times wrote, this example of neologism represents “a phrase that became part of the lexicon” almost instantly. Upon Jackson’s description of this incident of a wardrobe malfunction, this phrase has infused into all aspects of common usage as it now describes any clothing slip-up.
The latest example of a wardrobe malfunction in action was seen at the 2011 Oscars where actress and singer Jennifer Lopez accidentally exposed her breast while wearing a dress with a very low cut, revealing neckline. With the background and origin of the neologism term “wardrobe malfunction” established, this paper can now progress to discuss how the research on this topic was completed. ...Show more