Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Shakira defends explicit videos

Shakira performing on stage at the O2 arena

Singer Shakira has defended her sexually explicit music videos, the latest of which sees her writhing around on a bed with fellow pop star Rihanna.

The Colombian musician said she likes to "take advantage of feeling sensual and feeling sexy".

"I think that is tremendously empowering and is not diminishing in any way," she added. "I feel that any woman who is in control, who is in touch with her femininity and sensuality, is a woman that is empowered."

The video to Can't Remember To Forget You featuring Rihanna has already been viewed more than 193 million times on YouTube and follows many others which have seen the singer cavort around in little clothing since she shot to worldwide fame with her hit single Whenever, Wherever in 2001.

In the interview with the Independent's Radar magazine, philanthropist Shakira - who gave a speech alongside Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in 2012 - said she does not feel that her sexualised image conflicts with her campaigning work.

Her Pies Descalzos Foundation has set up six schools in her native Colombia, providing access to food, education and psychological support to m ore than 5,000 children who have been affected by population displacement.

"I'm a multi-faceted woman, and person, like all women are - there's no black and white," she said. "We have shades of grey in the middle. And even many more colours that other people don't see.

"So, no, I don't think... that I put myself in any situation in which I am objectified."

Speaking of the US president, Shakira said she is a great advocate of his education initiatives.

She went on: "He's a champion on early-childhood development strategies. So I like the work he's doing, and I support it, and I realise that he's one of very few political leaders around the world that actually has early-childhood development strategies at the top of his agenda.

"He has appointed me as a commissioner to consult his administration on educational excellence for Hispanics in the US. We try to find ways to improve the education system for Hispanics in America, to achieve excellence.

"I have to do the best I can in my own work to represent my culture, represent the women of my country, of Latin America."

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