Shakira is a sell out but she helps the children

Some of my friends told me I was too hard in a blog post I wrote earlier this week about the singer Shakira and her new album "She Wolf."

Photo from the Barefoot Foundation

I basically said the Colombian singer Shakira was a sell out for dying her hair blonde and using sex to sell her new album.

But my friends reminded me that I should have mentioned Shakira does a lot of charity work and especially focuses on children's issues.

I should note that this fall Shakira was given an award by UNICEF, according to an article in Hoy.

Shakira also has been an ambassador for UNICEF since 2003 and her foundation "Pies Descalzos" or the Barefoot Foundation supports that organization. In fact this coming Monday, Dec. 7, Shakira will speak about the work her foundation does at Oxford University.

She also recently met with the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, to talk about child welfare issues, according to another article in Hoy.

"All I have to do is close my eyes and I can imagine their faces; I know that each child has a name, a heart, a dream; I know that their lives are just as valuable as yours or mine. Yet many of these children die every day in total abandonment," Shakira is quoted on her foundation Web site.

So even though I think Shakira has become too commercial, I'll give her credit for working to save the children.

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  • 6 Dec 09
    I saw Shakira on an interview several years ago and she reveled her true dream is to help educate children. Her talents are just tools to get her dream fulfilled.. I feel her dream has come true. She is determined to help children even if she has to sell out for awhile.
    Even though her new look is slightly manufactured, I still feel Shakira as a wholesome, sweet, not artifical, endearing, original, NO BIG EGO and not vulgar, and a humantarian. . We all know what she has done before and this shows her versatility. She owns her own style still.
    Not like Beyonce, who copies everyone and overrated!

  • While I believe the promotion of She Wolf has been more than I would prefer, I don't think the label "sell out" is fair. Nor is it fair to second guess. In 2004 Shaki put out a concert video entitled "Shakira Live & Off the Record". On the DVD is a documentary called "off the Record" where Shaki explains the trade-off required to promote an album, how she hates the promotional aspects, but realizes that without promotional efforts, failure is often the only option. She compares promotion as a necessary evil, like Batman needs the Joker, without the Joker Batman stays in his cave and is never the hero he can be and ultimately is. She will do the promotional stuff, and doesn't just go through the motions, she gives it full throttle effort. But, she, I truly believe, is addicted to helping the children that her foundation reaches. You will find the bulk of her earnings going to build schools and feeding under resourced kids. So far she has spent $40 million of her own money and is helping to build a sixth school. She is reported to have an IQ of 140 (if that is true that is baseline genius level), but regardless, there is no doubt in my view, that she fully realizes that unless this album and the new concert series is a success, her efforts at being a young Mother Theresa (her real goal in life I believe) will likewise not be a success. ... So bottom line, is Shaki close to the edge, you bet. Is she a sell out, not on your life. ... The best thing we can do for her is promote her good works (by buying her album, but also independently supporting her foundation) and show her that we support her because she is a good person doing good things who is not self-centered, and let her know that she has many fans who are happiest just to hear her sing and like it best when she comes to us bare foot and in a beat up old sweat suit without any hype. ... Just think if she pours another $40 million into helping kids (from the proceeds earned from her excellent efforts to entertain us), and we as fans each give $20 to her foundation she could with everyone's help change the world. One million fans giving $20 a piece is $20 million dollars. What a gift that would be and if everyone who contributes adds a note "Please accept this contribution given in honor of Shakira, not her She Wolf alter ego (who is okay but not why we are making this contribution), but the Shakira who is battling poverty and helping to educate the world's children and trying to be a blessing to the world."

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