Shakira brands Barbie movie ’emasculating’


Shakira has criticised the Barbie movie as “emasculating”, adding men and women both have a “purpose” in society and one shouldn’t be at the expense of the other.

Speaking to Allure magazine, the 47-year-old Colombian popstar spoke about the blockbuster film released last summer, as well as her new album and her break-up with former footballer Gerard Pique.

Barbie is set in Barbie Land – a matriarchal system where women work all the high-end jobs, while the men (Kens) are subordinates to the Barbies and spend all their time at the beach.

The Mattel dolls travel to the real world where they experience the patriarchy which Beach Ken (Ryan Gosling) wishes to include in the Barbie Land constitution, but is thwarted by Barbie (Margot Robbie) and her team.

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But Shakira said her two young sons “absolutely hated” the movie, feeling it was “emasculating”, something that she agrees with “to a certain extent”.

She said: “I’m raising two boys. I want them to feel powerful too [while] respecting women.

“I like pop culture when it attempts to empower women without robbing men of their possibility to be men, to also protect and provide.

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“I believe in giving women all the tools and the trust that we can do it all without losing our essence, without losing our femininity.

“I think that men have a purpose in society and women have another purpose as well. We complement each other, and that complement should not be lost.”

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Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is among the top-grossing movies of all time, earning $1.4bn (£1.15bn) globally.

The film also features a monologue delivered by actress America Ferrera, a Mattel employee, about the expectations placed on women by society which ultimately inspires the other Barbies to revolt and save Barbie Land from the new rule.

Margot Robbie as Barbie. Pic: Warner Bros
Margot Robbie as Barbie. Pic: Warner Bros

However, Shakira gave a more nuanced perspective, saying: “Just because a woman can do it all doesn’t mean she should?

“Why not share the load with people who deserve to carry it, who have a duty to carry it as well?”

Allure call this the “Shakira Paradox” where she believes women merit agency and power, as do men, who should also exhibit traditional signs of masculinity.

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Barbie v the patriarchy

‘Women No Longer Cry’

Shakira’s sons Sasha, nine, and Mila, 11, are shared with her ex-partner Pique, a former Barcelona defender and Spanish international.

The Hips Don’t Lie singer reflected on her separation with Pique in June 2022 after 11 years together and the release of her first album in seven years – Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran, or Women No Longer Cry.

She said following the break-up she was “in the mud” and she “had to reconstruct myself, to reunite all the pieces that had fallen apart” which is explored in the album.

Shakira celebrates the official release of her new album, "Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran," early Friday, March 22, 2024, in Hollywood, Fla. (AP Photo/Michael Laughlin)
Shakira celebrates the official release of her new album. Pic: AP

The three-time Grammy winner said women used to have “to mind their manners, to hide the pain, to cry in silence”, but in today’s society “no one will tell us how to heal, how to clean our wound”.

Speaking about her autonomy, she said: “No one tells me how to cry or when to cry, no one tells me how to raise my children, no one tells me how I become a better version of myself. I decide that.”

Shakira said there was “something refreshing about women when they get to be themselves and be unapologetic”.

“Because we’ve had to apologise so many damn times in the past,” she added.

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