The Black Eyed Peas are back with their new song “Girl Like Me.” And while Fergie is no longer with the group (she departed in 2017, reportedly to focus on her solo career and to devote more time to parenting), the Peas have teamed up with Shakira in her place.
The internet seems to approve. In the week since the steamy video for this track landed, it’s racked up nearly 50 million views. Not bad for a group that arguably hit its peak more than a decade ago.
“Girl Like Me” is being hailed as a “tribute” to Latina women. But we’re not exactly in Nobel Prize territory here. In this context, tribute actually translates to objectification, which the three remaining members of the Black Eyed Peas indulge in, along with Shakira as a very willing co-conspirator.
Lyrics in English and Spanish describe what kind of Latina these guys are looking for. Not surprisingly, they focus on women’s looks and sensuality, not on her intelligence or inner qualities. Will.i.am tells us, “I want a girl like Shakira/ … I want a girl that shine like glitter/ … I wanna girl that’s a heater.”
A bit further along in the song, the lyrical proceedings get more suggestive: “Baby, drop it low on me/ … Your hips don’t lie, they rock me/ … Buena en la cama, she good in bed.”
Admittedly, these lyrics are hardly the most explicit ones out there in a world where graphic songs such as Cardi B’s recent No. 1 “WAP” leave absolutely nothing to the imagination. But these lyrics demonstrate how even a supposed “tribute” can’t do more than compare a woman to a stripper whom they want to bed.
Shakira reinforces those values in the accompanying video, as she wears revealing outfits and dances suggestively throughout. The Colombian singer and dancer has, of course, built her career on songs and moves exactly like these. So again, no surprise.
And it’s also no surprise that millions are already imitating her. Shortly after the video dropped, Shakira took to TikTok to school her 10 million followers on how to copy her shimmies and shakes. In a blink, her ’80s-themed moves have already spawned a viral dance craze.
But I suspect that Shakira’s moves aren’t the kind most parents will want their daughters imitating. Nor would most parents likely want prospective suitors for their daughters copping the kinds of objectifying pickup lines the Black Eyed Peas deliver here.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.