I stumbled over a Shakira video in my teens when I was in a phase where anything Spanish was “not cool” and everything else was. And then I saw this Columbian/Lebanese chick with mesmerizing long black locks rocking out hardcore in the fastest Spanish I’d ever heard. It was a turning point for me. I started listening to Spanish music and it was a step in becoming proud of my Hispanic heritage.
And then Shakira “crossed over.” She went blond. And everywhere, she was gyrating her hips. People were laughing at the literal English translations of her usually poetic Spanish verses. Eventually, people stopped laughing and started buying her CDs. My friend calls Shakira’s latest video “erotic” and “not porn.” But I worry with “American Taino” blogger Gerry Vazquez, that “the risk for Shakira is that her performances may become too much about her — her image, sexiness, curves, psyche.”
So while I’m not a big fan of her latest video, I am a fan of the woman. In their September 2009 issue, Latina Magazine reminded everyone that Shakira has used the fame she’s gotten for those hips and that sultry voice to give back in seemingly endless charitable contributions.