Breeana Rhodes's Essay Submission
A Woman of Inspiration: Shakira
Not many pop singers are also suitable role models, but one Latin pop singer is truly an inspirational woman: Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll. Growing up in Barranquilla, Columbia, Shakira saw the struggles of those around her and realized from a young age that she would have to work hard to reach her dreams. She now uses her fame to create positive change in the world. Shakira’s courage and leadership have made her an inspirational woman in my life.
Demonstrating her determination as an artist, Shakira taught herself English to expand her audience. When she began to translate her Spanish songs into English, she realized that the sound and meaning of the songs changed with the language. Not wanting the integrity of her compositions to be lost in translation, she decided to compose all new music in English. Shakira’s respect for her music and her appreciation of word choice have had an impact on my own writing. I focus more now on the words that I choose and the effects they will have on my audience. Shakira taught me that it is not just what is said but how it is said.
At the age of eight, Shakira wrote her first song titled “Tus Gafas Oscuras” and at thirteen, she signed the record deal with Sony Music that launched her career; demonstrating leadership skills early in life. Shakira showed me that you are never too young to start living your dream. I decided to major in communication sophomore year of high school and began working on my writing portfolio. The summer after graduation, I had an internship at a business-to-business communication company. Shakira inspired me to work towards my aspirations and to believe in my writing.
Shakira is an advocate for social justice in many ways. At age eighteen, she started the Pies Descalzos Foundation to help children in Columbia receive an education. She also works as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and was awarded the UN International Labor Organization medal in 2010 for her service. Shakira recently met with President Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House to discuss immigration policy reform.
Shakira has a hectic career but knows that she can make a difference in the world by reaching out. Although I am busy working and going to school, I use these examples to remind me to make time to volunteer. Volunteering has opened my eyes to social injustices and made me more appreciative of my own blessings.
Shakira says, “Everyone can know what is in my heart because I find it hard to conceal myself.” She is genuine when it comes to sharing her emotions and interacting with others. It is unfortunate that honesty is becoming rare and that hearts as pure as Shakira’s are difficult to find. In my opinion, Shakira’s honesty is what forms the foundation for her leadership skills and courage. Shakira is thus a woman of inspiration, through her songs, commitment to social justice, and authenticity.