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. Key Words Upon choosing the term “wardrobe malfunction” for this assignment, it was necessary to develop a list of key words for the purpose of research. Given the recent origin of this term, the key words used for this search include specific incidents as well as government regulations on the topic itself. The key words searched included: - wardrobe malfunction - federal communications commission (FCC) - CBS - indecency - broadcast regulations - Super Bowl 2004 - Janet Jackson interview - Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson duet - 2004 Super Bowl halftime show - FCC regulations With the understanding that the term “wardrobe malfunction” was created as a result of a pop culture event, it seemed most pertinent to conduct research within the scope of pop culture publications in an effort to document the reactions to this event as they happened, in a sense. In order to ensure that the research found is from sources that are considered to be ethical and have a high sense of integrity, I searched for news sources that had covered stories which featured my key words in the topics. I chose well-known and established newspapers, government policies and court coverage. The bibliography at the end of the assignment lists the six sources used for this assignment in addition to how they are featured in the text. Directions for Future Research Along with the bibliography of references and background information on the neologism term of “wardrobe malfunction,” the choice of sources allows for the continued monitoring of how this concept is used in popular culture. The importance of following the use of this term is to determine what the lasting effects of this example of neologism will have on society. It is also worth nothing that