Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

Using Shakira’s Advice to Raise My Daughters

by | Jan 31, 2024 | Parenting | 0 comments

What If Hips Truly Did Not Lie

Photo by Aider Barrios on Unsplash

We don’t use iPads to distract our daughters while they are in the car.

So we rely on books and music to distract them while we are driving places.

Music is truly lovely because I was able to stop putting them in a headlock to buckle them. “Hold still!!!! I’m trying to HELP YOU!!!!” Thank you, Ralph Nader.”

Most recently, I played “Hips Don’t Lie,” and my oldest likes it so much that she requests it by saying, “Dadda, play the one with the girl and the boy.”

One time, my wife was in the car when I played this song, and once the rap solo came on, she looked judgy at me and asked, “Is this the kind of message you want to send to your daughters?”

In my defense, I have no clue what the message is. There is a reason I don’t pay attention to rap solos, or rap for that matter. I can’t make out one single word.

I paid more attention after she said that, and I was able to make “Colombians and Haitians a mythical transaction.” Or maybe a musical transaction? Maybe musical. It makes more sense.

Plus, I learned the refugees were Haitian. Who knew? Not me. They don’t talk about it on “Killing Me Softly,” the only song of theirs I listened to.

But from the tone and reproach I can make, that is probably not the best of messages for a four-year-old girl.

Then she listened to Wyclef speaking Spanish:

“Como se llama? Bonita?
Mi casa? Su casa?”

And asks me, “Is that all it takes to get laid in Colombia?”

And now I’m offended, “No, of course, not! That’s not what it takes to get laid anywhere in the world. For the small segment of the population that that’s all it takes, then this song should be called, ‘Herpes Don’t Lie!’”

Shakira’s part is not that bad, though. Really. If you don’t see the video, the maxim “Hips don’t lie” could be sage wisdom.

Something your grandma-ma would say, “Well, if you want to know what someone is up to, you have to look no further than their hips because hips don’t lie.”

Maybe you think you can still wear a specific size of pants, but your body is spilling above your hips.

“Hips don’t lie.”

If you want to know if a man knows how to dance, all you have to do is look at his hips while he walks.

“Hips don’t lie.”

Maybe you are trying to determine if someone fidgety could be concealing a weapon. So you look for the bulge on their hips.

“Hips don’t lie.”

I don’t want to be too quick to dismiss this centuries-old wisdom.

Of course, there is more to my liking of this song that goes beyond the centuries-old wisdom.

It talks about Barranquilla, where I grew up, and its trumpet riff reminds me of when I was a preteen and loved listening to salsa music.

Most people don’t know that the main riff in ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ comes from a classic salsa song, “Amores Como El Nuestro,” by Jerry Rivera.

I thought I was doing a good job keeping my daughter away from some of Shakira’s racier work, like She Wolf, Gordita, or Loca, but apparently, I’m not.

I have decided not to keep playing this song because sometimes a father’s job is to stop the fun because fun can be bad for you. But I know my daughter will miss it because she walks around our house murmuring to herself, “Shakira! Shakira!”

I just have to be patient.

One day, she’ll finally be able to learn about her Colombian heritage through Shakira’s body of work. In the meantime, Dora’s “Chicken Dance” it is.


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