Shakira vs Miley Cyrus: two ways to “respond” to finished love (but one is better than the other)

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2023 has just begun. A few days before the beginning of the new revolution of the Earth around the Sun, Shakira drops a bomb on the YouTube universe: it’s called BZRP Music Sessions #53 and it’s a song in Spanish, in which he launches vitriolic rants and phrases against her ex-husband Gerard Pique and his new flame, Clara Chia Marti.

The next day, also another star of the world music scene, Miley Cyrusspear Flowers, a hymn to self-emancipation and self-love, after the end of her marriage to the actor Liam Hemsworthwhich took place in 2019. In the song there is no shortage of very explicit references to the love story between the two, among other things, the song was published on January 13, precisely on Hemsworth’s birthday, as if to give him a gift, certainly unwelcome.

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In just over 24 hours, the two queens of music totaled nearly 200 million views and made the whole globe talk about them, unleashing reactions for or against to their way of seeing and living the end of their love.

Why i compare are triggered instantly: wanting to analyze the two texts without bowls, Shakira has staked everything on venting her anger, to the detriment of the two faithless men; apparently instead Cyrus focused on herself, reiterating to her ex that since he’s gone, she knows how to love herself very well – indeed, better – alone.

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Different starting situations: Shakira tried to elaborate in music and words a betrayal; Miley Cyrus instead the natural end of a story for irreconcilable differences.

We tried to take stock together with the expert on two ways of going through pain and putting it at the service of someone else (in this case, a very large audience of millions and millions of people): we talked about it with Matthew Merigo, psychologist, psychotherapist, clinical sexologist and couple counselor. Here’s what we learned from these two casus belli.

Shakira and Miley Cyrus publish two defined songs within a few hours revenge songsrevenge songs. But dirty clothes weren’t washed in the family?
«Yes, dirty laundry should be washed in the family, but with reason. This means sitting at a table with the counterparty to try to resolve the problem. But when dealing with VIPs, the real problem is scandal, in addition to the betrayal, i.e. the sounding board, the damage to the image it can have worldwide. When notoriety increases, the scandal bubble also tends to become huge. Here we are talking about revenge, which certainly was not on a physical level (and this is good), but the point is that it is consumed in front of a truly enormous audience and this means enormous repercussions ».

Both dedicate the song to the ex, but with a difference of form: Shakira seems to focus on external factors (what he did, what the other did), Cyrus seems to focus on herself. Can one of the two be considered better as a modality or not?

«As a rule, an ameliorative form of processing a given trauma is effectively that of focus everything on yourself, or rather to tell one’s own experience and how one is at that given moment; here instead it seems that Shakira launches accusations against her ex-husband: “you left me for someone useless, worthless”. Here then clicks the denigration towards a third person who has entered – consciously, certainly – within their relationship. Shakira did not hurt to translate her pain and anger into her art, but perhaps it would have been better to do so, telling how she went beyond, translating into rhyme and evocative images how her life is today of her than in the past ».

Shakira releases her anger, almost defaming the ex, even insulting him: is it legitimate as an attitude? Does anger give everything? What would have been a more constructive attitude?

“Everyone uses the weapons he has at his disposal for revenge: Shakira is an artist and has used music to transform her anger. This might be socially acceptable. What is less socially acceptable is the denigration of the other person: telling your emotional experience also makes sense, belittling or insulting the other for the choice he made doesn’t. It is clear that we know that being well-known characters, everything has been studied for “monetize”, to be talked about globally – result achieved, among other things! – and let’s not forget that all of this also brings hay to the “injured” part of the farm (Piquè has recently signed a sponsorship contract with Casio, ed)».

Let’s talk about betrayal: does making the comparison with the other really help to overcome the trauma or does it only accentuate the hatred?

«No, it becomes pejorative, because one denigrates the other, but one feels left behind for something in the B series, so this only increases the unease. It’s a vicious circleand it happens like this in any relationship, famous or not: the comparison with someone or something that was there before almost never works, because it leads to a lowering of self-esteem».

In one verse Shakira says that women no longer cry, but invoice: is it a way to encourage female empowerment or is it just perpetrating a machismo in reverse, which does not educate to respect for one’s emotions?

“In my view, it is a reverse machismo, a show that “he has balls”. Assuming that she has courage and she certainly had it, Shakira shows her side to the critics who describe her as resentful and angry. The message that arrives is: “I am an Alpha woman on paper, but in fact I have not yet digested the fact that you have preferred someone I consider inferior”».

What does this comparison with ultra-luxury goods that hardly anyone can afford really betray? Insecurity, arrogance?

“It’s a reasoning that any injured person would do: you make comparisons and obviously you put yourself on a pedestal, because ‘I was the best and you weren’t able to recognize it'”.

Of course, this by Shakira is a well-studied marketing move to make a comeback, but on any woman, in the same condition, what effect can such a message have? Certainly many of her will have identified with her and elevated her to a champion of justice between betrayed women, but is that really the case?

«I repeat, for sure Shakira will not have left anything to chance, but I remember that even a few years ago the song went into heavy rotation Fuck it (by Eamon, 2004, ed)which told of betrayals and a story that ended badly. Ride the scandal to become a representative of a slice of the public or population is a story as old as the world: the ideal would be to pass the right messages”.

Cyrus also sings about her broken love, but seems to focus more on the fact that now that she’s alone she can do everything he would have done for her, but alone. Here too the message would seem: “I don’t need you”, or not?

«Yes, here the message is more: “I focus on myself, and I have the resources to get back on track”. There is a reference to the past, but the eye is drawn towards the future. Shakira, on the other hand, seems to just want to loosen the dogs and unleash anger ».

In this age of individualism, is it really so good to convey such messages? Or rather, these messages of emotional independence can be correct, but communicated in which way do they become more effective?

«If I have to choose between the two messages conveyed, I would say that that of Cyrus is more constructive compared to Shakira’s: the first focuses on herself, the second seems to want to unleash anger. At the media level, the impact will certainly be different: we know that the scandal unleashed by Shakira will lead to more people talking about her because her bubble is more dilated. The right way is always that of cold reasoningthat is, not getting carried away by emotions in the answers or reactions to be given to the other party, even if you are the injured party”.

Revenge is best served cold, said a motto. But in love, is it really good to serve her? How could one process anger more productively?

«Actually, it would be good not to serve it and then let one’s self settle down, hopefully improved, stronger. Revenge always involves something harmful: my damage, the pain I feel, I have to throw it back at you with more violence, even magnifying it, to destroy you. And it’s not the most profitable goal, for anyone. The basic idea, on the other hand, would be to process anger and transform it into a resource: the person who has hurt becomes aware of what or who they have lost over time”.

A betrayal or the end of a love leave open wounds, there is no doubt. But how can we make sure that this pain doesn’t turn us into worse people, but rather helps us to become truly stronger?

“One piece of advice I give to all my patients is to ignore social media, that is, avoid using these windows to see what the other is doing, to control him… because we are only tearing the wound even further instead of helping it heal. The other tip is by live the change: even better ones always start from a moment of crisis. So don’t experience the latter as an opportunity to destroy the other, but as an opportunity from which to draw an important lesson. It is clear that this awareness will not come immediately, but anger can become fertile ground for building the springboard from which it will then take flight. Again”.

More stories from Vanity Fair that might interest you are:

Spare, the 10 hottest revelations of Harry’s book bomb

Not just betrayal: the 7 signs that precede a couple crisis

Source: Vanity Fair

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