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Shakira isn't among the legion of 'Barbie' fans. (John Nacion/WireImage/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

Shakira calls ‘Barbie’ movie ‘emasculating’

April 4, 2024

By Issy Ronald, CNN

(CNN) — Colombian superstar Shakira has said her two sons “absolutely hated” the movie “Barbie” because it was “emasculating,” adding that she partially agreed.

Shakira shared her opinions on the 2023 blockbuster movie in an interview with beauty magazine Allure, saying that she prefers pop culture “when it attempts to empower women without robbing men of their possibility to be men, to also protect and provide.”

The Grammy-winning singer has two sons, Milan, born in 2013, and Sasha, born in 2015, with her former partner Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué.

“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 believe in giving women all the tools and the trust that we can do it all without losing our essence, without losing our femininity,” the singer continued in the interview, published Monday.

“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.”

“Barbie” became a cultural phenomenon last summer as it raked in more than $1.4 billion at the box office and sparked wide-ranging conversations about its specific brand of feminism. (“Barbie” was produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, which shares the same parent company as CNN.)

Greta Gerwig’s movie begins in the matriarchal society of Barbieland before Barbie and Ken, played by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling respectively, venture to the real world where Ken discovers the patriarchy and attempts to implement it back in home.

With these overt feminist themes, the movie transcended cinema and became a political and cultural event, prompting much discussion around what it represented.

While the core of its female empowerment message was largely praised, some pointed out the dangers of portraying misogyny as deriving from incompetence rather than malice.

Shortly after “Barbie” was released and several right-wing figures lambasted it as “woke,” Gerwig told the New York Times that she hoped the movie would be “an invitation for everybody to be part of the party and let go of the things that aren’t necessarily serving us as either women or men.”

“I hope that in all of that passion, if they see it or engage with it, it can give them some of the relief that it gave other people,” she added.

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