Forget The Super Bowl & Celebrate Janet Jackson Appreciation Day

Photo: Greg Doherty/Getty Images.

It's no longer Super Bowl Sunday, it's #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay. Before Justin Timberlake performs at this year's halftime show — without Janet Jackson, as she made very clear — Twitter is taking time to celebrate Jackson's legacy. Specifically, all the parts that have nothing to do with a wardrobe malfunction.

On Friday, filmmaker Matthew Cherry tweeted that fans of Jackson should take back Super Bowl 52. "We should do a #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay this Sunday," he wrote. "You know, reverse it." Those fans who've always considered themselves proud members of Jackson's Rhythm Nation heeded his call.

After the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, which was dubbed "Nipplegate" after Timberlake accidentally exposed her nipple, many felt that Jackson was unjustly blamed for the incident, while Timberlake went unscathed. Case in point: he's now headlining the Super Bowl, while Jackson has yet to return.

Fans weren't looking to talk about Timberlake, though, they wanted to gush about Janet (Ms. Jackson if you're nasty) and all the ways she changed pop culture for the better. "Janet released a whole album, went on tour, decided to PAUSE to have a fresh baby at age 50, dropped that billionaire hub, and went back out on tour like nothing happened," one person tweeted, "Your fav could never."

"Everything about Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice is beautiful," Bitch's senior culture editor Evette Dionne tweeted. "The braids, alone, are iconic. The outfits. The monologues about Black womanhood, trauma, and grief. EVERYTHING."

In a string of tweets, Kevin Allred, who created the college course Politicizing Beyoncé, laid out why Jackson is still the best. "There's no Beyoncé 'Feminist' movement in 2013 without Janet first taking CONTROL." he wrote.

Allred also cited 1986's "Pleasure Principle" video as one of the absolute best. "Janet Jackson really made one of the greatest videos of all time by herself dancing in an abandoned warehouse," he tweeted. "Almost 31 years later and your faves still can't keep up."

Many fans pointed out Jackson's commitment to social issues. "In 1997, Janet released an anthem to a friend she lost to HIV/AIDS called "Together Again," Calvin Stowell, Chief Growth Officer at the Trevor Project, wrote. "It’s a beautiful and empowering song, and the video she released with it is stunning."

With "Rhythm Nation," Allred tweeted, Jackson "rewrote the Pledge of Allegiance in 1989 and created a social justice movement through pop music way before it became expected of artists to speak out."

Of course, there were some that couldn't help pointing out that even those not tweeting #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay might have been quietly paying tribute. "I love how @kerrywashington subtly did her own #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay by featuring only Janet Jackson songs on her epsd of #SCANDAL right before the SB," one fan tweeted.

Laverne Cox wasn't keeping her appreciation to herself, even coming up with some clever puns to celebrate Janet. "We love you Miss Jackson. It's all for you. When we think of you nothing else seems to matter," Cox wrote. "Get us all together again in this Rhythm Nation."

It was one person on Twitter, though, that seemed to sum it up best: "Every day is #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay." Nothing but respect for my Super Bowl halftime performer.

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