A derailed meme train

Juana Adriana Rocha

In a matter of hours, a pop hit grabbed the world’s attention, fueled ad campaigns, outraged macho and feminists, tempted everyone to join the fleeting journey of going viral on social media, and everything spiraled out of control.

A song sent shares of Renault, Ferrari, Rolex and Casio fluctuating. A song reignited the debate on sorority and female empowerment. The same song reminded us of former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

This is ‘BZRP Music Sessions #53’, which Shakira, in collaboration with DJ Bizarrap, released on January 11.

The video on YouTube reached 77 million views until Friday. The ‘statement’ of the Colombian after her separation from the footballer Gerard Piqué, is one of the greatest successes in terms of marketing in recent times.

Who and how got on this ‘meme train’?

clearly a bad joke

On October 28, 2022, Paraguayan deputy Kattya Mabel González went viral for singing the song “I congratulate you” by Shakira and the reggaeton artist Rauw Alejandro in parliamentary session.

Although she did not achieve the same media impact, the governor of Baja California, Marina del Pilar Ávila, took advantage of the current trend to “throw flowers” at her work. According to a survey by the Massiver Caller company published at the end of last year, the Morenista is the most widely accepted president in the country, with 58.9%.

On her Twitter account, Marina del Pilar published: “CLEARLY we are a government that works with our hearts first, for those who have less. Even if it splashes those who in the past did nothing. The one who understood, she understood.

His parody of the verse where Shakira alludes to the ex-husband and his current partner (Clara Chía), only reached around 2 thousand likes and a similar number of negative comments.

Will this failed attempt at a joke diminish his popularity?

At this point, when our politicians are also influencers, and even open TikTok accounts to join the youth trends, it is strange that there have not been more characters who got on the train.

Casio or Rolex?

“You traded a Rolex for a Casio.” The phrase directed at the Spanish soccer player spawned memes and publicity stunts by the underrated brand. Gerard boasted in a program that he closed an agreement with Casio to sponsor his soccer league, “this is a watch for life,” he said.

But it was not this shameful attempt by Piqué to recover his dignity, and the ingenuity of Casio’s community manager, that most caught my attention, but rather the publication of several articles about the former president of Mexico, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and his preference for brand watches.

Multiple photos of the PRI member show him in interviews, conferences, events, and even exercising with the Japanese firm’s accessory on his wrist. Very thrifty and modest (and perhaps cunning) on ​​his part, to wear a watch within everyone’s reach, and not a luxury one that costs up to a million pesos.

Anyone interested in purchasing a Casio? Elektra sells them, as the owner of the chain, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, published: “For all of us who want something new! Clearly we sell them #Casio”.

Feminist manifesto?

The Minister of Education of Spain, Pilar Alegría, stated that she loved Shakira’s new song, except for the comparison she establishes between the interpreter and her ex’s new girlfriend: “as if there were first class women versus second class women ”.

The speech by the also spokesperson for the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party was a topic among network users, activists and opinion leaders. Where was the sorority? Is public ridicule between women in pursuit of art valid?

Erika Fontalvo, director of ‘El Heraldo’ in Barranquilla, dedicated an editorial to the subject, an apology for the song that she considers a “feminist manifesto”. “Shakira’s autobiographical proclamation bothers a moralistic society that today questions whether there should be limits to showing the pain of disappointment. Make no mistake, the pattern of pitiful jilted women is part of a macho past that is long gone,” Fontalvo wrote.

It is always enriching that feminism is discussed based on cultural products. I believe that what was salvageable on this occasion was the analysis of the concept of sorority, which does not mean tolerating oppression and damage from other women for the simple fact of being women.

It was also discussed how spite, disappointment and pain are not interpreted in the same way when manifested by a man and when manifested by a woman. In the second case, it tends to reinforce stereotypes that frame the female gender in drama, hysteria, ‘ardor’, revenge, toxicity.

Hopefully the discussion transcends beyond a pop hit, hopefully it won’t be a petate flare, and have a real impact on the criteria of new and not so new generations.

THE SUPERFLUOUS: After the success of ‘BZRP Music Sessions #53’, he can retire without problems, and as the song says, dedicate himself not to crying, but to billing.

THE DEEP: We live in an almost dystopian era, where a pop singer captures the world’s attention in hours and starts a revolution; she is fascinating and terrifying in equal measure.

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A derailed meme train