The Guardian | 7/17/2009 12:00:00 AM
On music: The She Wolf bites
Jul 17--Shakira's howling alter ego is properly, wonderfully strange, going back to the old rules of pop star alternate personas.
This howl isn't just unbridled sexuality. It shows us how pop stars gain so much of their power over our imaginations by persuading us they are actually more than human.
We think of pop stars as very different animals, anyway: at worst as monsters created by svengali Frankensteins, at best as a much luckier species than us plebeians. Still, pop stars are flesh and bone, too. They have mums and dads they argue with, bills to pay, and toilet habits to attend to - and not just the ones involving white powder on the cistern lid. Admittedly, suitors and stylists may pamper their egos as well as their bodies, but they still need fancy videos and stage shows to make them look - and, crucially, feel - larger than life.
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