Shakira Tells All: Surfing, Motherhood and Insecurities
Shakira has captivated generations with her one-of-a-kind voice and dance moves. The Colombian singer-songwriter also has been a role model for confidence and going after what you want with her life and career choices, as well as her forceful crossover into the English market.
Now, the 44-year-old —who graces the cover of Cosmopolitan's November issue in a plunging silver bodysuit— is opening up about her road to success, her new hobbies, her personal insecurities, finding confidence in herself and her children with soccer player Gerard Piqué.
The Barranquilla native started her singing career with the encouragement of her dad despite being bullied and told she sounded like a goat when she was younger. She admitted that without her family's encouragement, she'd be doing something else.
"I'd probably be a doctor or an archeologist," she said. "I always wanted to make my dad proud and wanted to please him. Even when it was a total drag to perform in front of my family."
Despite her incredible on-stage performances, the artist added she has a shy streak.
"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," she said. "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. When my dad discovered my voice, he was just proud and wanted to share what his little girl could do."
Her shyness never stopped her strong will and stubbornness to go after the things she wanted in life. She considers herself a "fighter" with a vulnerable side nobody in public knows.
"I consider myself a fighter, but at the same time, I feel that I'm not as strong as people think. I'm a little fragile. It's a weird combination, feeling vulnerable at times and then feeling that I can do it all," she explained. "I have enormous confidence in the future—faith in life—but a lot of insecurities that make me want to prove myself."
The combination of vulnerability and strength is what has brought the Latin Grammy award winner so far. She has a need to "genuinely believe" in what she does and is "proud of having succeeded" on her "own terms."
Throughout her career, the singer also faced her doubts —as well as criticism and prejudice from those around her because of her roots.
"When I first crossed over to the American market, many magazines would put emphasis on the fact that I was Colombian. I was called the second finest export of Colombia. I guess they were referring to cocaine as the first one," she said. "I was like, Why are journalists asking me about drug trafficking? My country's so much more than that. I feel really touched by everything that's been happening with Black Lives Matter and proud of young people today—how they're not willing to take the s**t."
However, in her personal life, Shakira is a mom, partner and hobbist who enjoys spending time in her pijamas and worrying about her children like the rest of us.
"I'm a tiger mom and a helicopter mom and all these different moms," she laughed. "That's when having a partner who's completely opposite in that sense comes in handy. My mind never stops. I dream about my kids. I worry about them constantly. I torture my poor husband. Well, he's not really my…I don't know what to call him!"
These days, the singer can be found skating and surfing, activities that free her mind.
"I just started [surfing] a year ago, and it's a hard sport to make progress on. It's unbelievable how much pleasure I find in this. How all my troubles are washed away by the waves," she concludes. "There's something about the ocean and the salt and the wind that heals all the wounds. I found that's my own meditation, but it wouldn't be bad if I do the real kind. I think I need it."