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Shakira’s comments on the ‘Barbie’ movie spark outrage and conversation

The pop star said she agrees "to a certain extent" with her sons, who found the movie "emasculating."
/ Source: TODAY

Shakira is sparking controversy with her take on the “Barbie” movie.

The “Puntería” singer, 47, revealed her thoughts, and her sons', on Greta Gerwig’s 2023 film in a recent interview with Allure.

“My sons absolutely hated it. They felt that it was emasculating. And I agree, to a certain extent,” she said. “I’m raising two boys. I want ‘em 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.”

Shakira shares two boys, Milan, 11, and Sasha, 9, with her ex-partner, soccer star Gerard Piqué. 

“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,” she continued. “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.”

“Just because a woman can do it all doesn’t mean she should?” Allure writer Patricia Alfonso Tortolani asked the pop superstar.

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

Shakira’s thoughts on “Barbie” were met with swift reactions, mostly critical, on the X platform.

“Not Shakira saying women’s success in society is linked to our femininity,” one X user wrote.

“women don’t owe femininity to anyone, not even themselves... what an awful take. Disappointing,” another user wrote.

“Oh Shakira love you but idk about this one,” another person posted.

Ryan Gosling as Ken and Margot Robbie as Barbie in 2023's "Barbie" movie.
Ryan Gosling as Ken and Margot Robbie as Barbie in 2023's "Barbie" movie.

Other commenters expressed confusion about Shakira’s comments and how they relate to the end of the “Barbie” movie, when Ken and the other male characters find new purpose and redefine what it means to be a man.

“That would have been the case if the ending of the Barbie movie didn’t have the kens getting their respect and their purpose being showcased,” one X user wrote.

“But he did find his power,” another person posted. “He is Kenough.”

Some parents of sons also weighed in on Shakira’s take.

“I have 4 sons (7-16). They all loved the Barbie movie, as did my husband. They turn it on all the time,” one X user wrote. “I love Shakira and I’ll attribute her reaction to cultural differences ... Barbie isn’t meant to be emasculating, I feel like it lets both sides realize n be who they are.”

“I’m a mom of two boys, too, and the movie addressed toxic masculinity,” another person wrote, in part. “Which is the thing I’m most afraid of for them.”

Some X users said they understood Shakira’s point of view. 

“It’s interesting to hear Shakira’s perspective on the ‘Barbie’ movie and its portrayal of gender roles,” one X user wrote. “Empowerment shouldn’t come at the expense of anyone’s identity. Balancing empowerment for women while respecting the roles men play in society is crucial. It’s all about finding that harmony where everyone feels valued and empowered.”

“Maybe interviewers should stop bringing Barbie up,” another person wrote on X. “If you actually read the whole article it makes sense Shakira was annoyed. She believes women can do it all but men should share in the duty. Strong men can support women.”

Elsewhere in the Allure piece, Shakira described the “transformation” of “being reborn as a woman” she experienced while working on her latest album, “Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran (Women No Longer Cry).”

"I have rebuilt myself in the ways I believe are appropriate,” 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.”