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Is Shakira and Rihanna's music video that bad?
By Zee Nonjabulo on 10 February 2014 at 16:37 · Comments
Our editor takes a stab at Shakira and Rihanna's music video for their new single, "Can't Remember to Forget You". The video has been a massive hit for right and wrong reasons across the globe.

Rihanna and her fellow singer Shakira are facing scrutiny for their racy new music video, Can't Remember To Forget You, but here at ZAlebs headquarters we are in full support of this sensual production.

It's that time of the year when men around the world are in a slightly more cheerful mood. We're less irritable, less prone to freak-outs and less likely to be seen fighting with anybody else. We're also less productive, pay less attention to our families and spend less time outside. "What causes this bizarre behaviour?" Well this is a phenomenon I've heard doctors describe as IILWSS (I'm In Love With Shakira Syndrome) a mostly dormant disease that makes its presence known when she releases a new music video. Reported cases of IILWSS have reached epidemic proportions in the last 10 days following her new music video for Can’t Remember To Forget You, featuring Rihanna. However, not everybody is as happy about the new video as I am.

Thankfully we are given a reminder that music can be sexy WITHOUT Twerking (Nothing against the booty hop-inspired dance, but the fad is becoming annoying). Lyrically, it’s about how easy it is to forget how bad someone is for you when you still love them. The song is catchy, which makes the music video a more enjoyable experience altogether. The big talking point is that Shakira and Rihanna show an awful lot of skin while writhing on a bed as they sing their respective parts. In fact, there's not a lot of clothing going on in any scene. 

The video, uploaded on Shakira’s YouTube channel on Jan. 31, garnered more than 88 million views in only one week. It features both artists lying down in bed, touching each other and smoking cigars.

If you accept the fact that we live in the 21st century where skin sells (and it sells a lot) it's easier to judge Can't Remember to Forget You against its peers in the industry. This isn't a video I would show to my grandmother, nor is it one I would show to my seven year old sister; but that doesn't mean it's a bad music video. It's sensual, mature and we get to see both ladies showing off their femininity and sexuality. Do I have a problem with that? Not at all, especially as, like I said earlier, the song itself is quite enjoyable, and at the end of the day that's what a music video should do -  complement the studio recorded song.

Remember Britney and Madonna’s kiss at the VMAs in 2003? Or Britney and Rihanna’s lip locking at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards? So what’s the fuss then?

It seems that many are up in arms, including Colombian politician, Marco Fidel Ramirez. Senor Ramirez has blasted the video for promoting Lesbianism and has asked for the video to be banned from all Colombian stations and platforms.

"Shakira's new video is a shameless case for lesbianism and immorality. It is a danger to children," Ramirez tweeted. "It sends a provocative message to weak people who can be polluted and induced to practice (lesbianism)."

Elsewhere, the video has been labelled as "Provocative" "Inappropriate" "Skanky" and even "Disgusting" by the masses. Everybody is allowed to have their own opinions, and who am I to deny these commentators of theirs? They said the same thing about Miley's Wrecking Ball so it's not really a surprise and I suppose we should hail them for consistency.

The Colombian official's comments on "promoting lesbianism" smack of ignorant conservatism though. It's one thing to give your opinion on something, but it's another to use the video as a means to send out more homophobic propaganda - we know that's the last thing we need in this world! 

While Shakira has yet to respond publicly to Ramirez, she re-tweeted a message from the video's director Joseph Kahn.

"#CantRememberToForgetYou director @JosephKahn "It's not my fault Shakira & Rihanna are that hot," Shakira tweeted. "Deal with it."

The video also sparked a wave of criticism from Arab fans and music industry professionals.  “It’s a lesbianist music video, it’s really over [the top],” Fadi Haddad, a Lebanese music video director told Al Arabiya News.

Sex sells. If that's true, then this video should sell very well. Watch the video for yourself and see what you think of it. Be warned, it is a little NSFW-ish and if you're a man with a very conservative partner and have a strong wi-fi signal in your home, I'd suggest locking yourself in the spare room for a few minutes when you do decide to watch the video. 

Is Shakira and Rihanna's video too explicit for your liking? Comment below. 

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