The voice. The hips. The hair. There’s so much about Shakira that could never be replicated—and yet the most googled pop star in the country is still reinventing herself. It’s hard to believe that Shakira has any insecurities, but in Cosmopolitan’s November cover story, she opens up to journalist Maria Hinojosa and gets real about her new hobbies, the reason she dyed her hair, finding joy and more.
On why, as a young girl, it was “a total drag” to perform in front of her family: “I was shy. To this day, I find it hard to sing to a small group. It’s embarrassing. I feel a little silly, a little ridiculous, and a little naked. The stage and crowd and lights and applause of the people dress me. Once you take that away and you’re there with your voice—it’s such a private, intimate act, the one of singing and exposing your soul. It’s not a coincidence that people sing in the shower most of the time, because that’s when they’re completely naked and uninhibited and alone.”
On the value of humility: “There are artists who always need a crowd. I don’t need that. I like disappearing for a while and just being a person. The outfit my kids love the most is my PJs. I’m glad they’re not going to remember their mom like the big pop star onstage covered in glitter.”
On ambition: “It took a lot of work to be noticed. I wanted to reach the biggest audience possible. I was that ambitious. I do feel a little ashamed saying it out loud. From an early age, I really wanted the world. I wanted to share my music with as many people as possible. I wanted everyone to listen to me.”
On succeeding on her own terms: “I’m the type of person who really needs to genuinely believe in what I do or I’d rather pass. I’m proud of having succeeded on my own terms.”
On why she went blonde: “I just wanted to see my hair a different way. I changed my hair many different ways throughout my career. I love dark hair. I sometimes miss my super-shiny black, dark hair. It never got to be the same because once you put bleach on your hair, it just never shines the same way.”
On sex versus sensuality: “I feel that sexuality, it’s attached to the most basic instincts and it’s primal, while sensuality refers to the stimulation of the senses. Art can be conducive to creating sensual content but society today is very sexualized. Everything is so explicit. Subtext is what’s interesting—the lines that you can read between, the mystery, things you can leave to the imagination. That’s where the real poetry happens.”
On finding joy: “These new hobbies that I never thought I’d be able to take on later in life, skating and surfing—they are very therapeutic and liberate my mind.”
The November issue of Cosmopolitan featuring Shakira hits newsstands nationwide on October 12.
[Photo Credit: Ellen von Unwerth for Cosmopolitan Magazine]