I am one of those annoying Colombians who every time you mention you just LOVE Shakira, I roll my eyes, tell you she’s shit now and narrate a brief five-min-Shakira-history on your ass about how white-washed mami used to be this awesome chubby rocker, with red hair, who actually wrote some poetic lyrics that were once the core of my early teenage years (somewhere in my mother’s apartment there’s still a Pies Descalzos cassette). And when we’re watching TV and you point to the blonde, skinner-than-life Shakira with whiter-than-life teeth selling us CREST my heart transforms into a jaded feminista yelling, “Who the fuck cares?” And “please change the channel” (clearly some unresolved issues there).
To this you think “whatever,” you think “why do these third-world people always overthink it,” you think “Gawd, I’m only trying to be nice,” you think “well I can’t understand her music if she is singing in Spanish, duh,” you think “but OMG your people are so pretty!” Deep inside I’m grateful that after talking about Shakira you didn’t tell me that story about snorting some good Colombian cocaine (we’re not even the lead exports anymore, get with the program homie), or demand a brief update on Colombia’s current state of affairs (i.e. How dangerous is it for gringos there?), or a speedy drug cartel history, but really I’m just grateful you didn’t show me a Sofía Vergara clip detailing how she washes her clothes in the river. Continue reading