What would you do for love? The music artist, Shakira, explained quite clearly what she would do for love. However, she did not just rely on her lyrics, she used several aspects of nature and animals to visually express her wild and dazzling love for her soulmate. “Whenever, Wherever” is a song by the female artist Shakira and was featured on her album Laundry Service which was released November 13, 2001. The music video to this song starts out with Shakira floating underwater and then she shoots up out of the water and lands on a cliff.  She starts dancing and flaps her arms like a bird then the scene changes to a Falcon flying with mountains in the background. “The falcon symbolism, after all, speaks about victory, success, and rising above challenging situations” (TrustedPsychicMediums 2019). Shakira’s lyrics “Lucky you were born that far away so, we could both make fun of distance” could mean the falcon represents rising above the challenge of long distance relationships and how love makes us feel victorious as if we are untouchable. It could represent the feeling you have when you find your soulmate, how it feels like you are flying. The scene changes back to Shakira dancing on the edge of a cliff with the waves crashing against the cliff behind her. “The high, crashing waves represent overwhelming emotions” (Entropy). When Shakira sings “Never could imagine there were only ten million ways to love somebody”, The crashing waves in this scene could represent the intense love that is felt between Shakira and her soulmate. Also, since she is on the edge of a cliff happily dancing can be interpreted as her knowing that this could end badly but she will enjoy that rush and thrill that comes with her newfound love.

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In the next scene Shakira is in the desert and is dancing and it is kicking up dust. “The desert is free of confusion; there is no doubt. Because they are wide, open vistas without covering vegetation” (“Symbolism: The Desert”).  Shakiras lyrics “Whenever, wherever, we’re meant to be together, I’ll be there and you’ll be near, And that’s the deal my dear, there over, hereunder, you’ll never have to wonder, we can always play by ear, but that’s the deal my dear” and the inclusion of the desert could mean that she has no doubts about what she will do for love. She realizes there are a lot of obstacles she and her soulmate face, but the desert represents her clarity and resolve when it comes to deciding to pursue this relationship.  Out of the cloud of dust comes a stampede of black horses that run around Shakira while she dances happily amongst them. “A horse might symbolize freedom, energy, strength, endurance, stamina, power, but also hard work. It might signify male sexual energy and masculinity. Running horses symbolize freedom and release of repressed energy” (Dreams About Horses – Meaning and Interpretation). This could be taken as Shakira is surrounded by freedom and this new love may have the stamina and endurance that could last for the long haul. With it being a new love and new relationship, it could include that there is a lot of great sex going on…good for them. The sun is still shining through the dust cloud behind Shakira. “The sun has been a symbol of power, growth, health, passion and the cycle of life” (“What Does the Sun Symbolize?”). The sun itself does provide nourishment, most plants need sunlight to grow and thrive, all humans need sunlight for vitamin D. The sun provides warmth and light. In this scene perhaps the sun represents the passion and warmth from this relationship that Shakira is singing about.

Shakira in Shakira: Whenever, Wherever (2001)

In the Scene after that Shakira is crawling through a large puddle of mud.  “In general, mud symbolizes responsibilities and troubles we have to take care of” (“Dreams About Mud – Interpretation and meaning). Shakira sings “Lucky I have strong legs like my mother, To run for cover when I need it.” Here, I believe Shakira is recognizing that there may be obstacles and she is ready and willing to work through them. When she sings “and these two eyes that are for no other, The day you leave will cry a river, At your feet, I’m at your feet” I believe she is being vulnerable and honest about the heartbreak she will feel if and when this new relationship comes to an end. Shakira starts dancing and it appears to cause an earthquake because dirt shoots up from the ground when she dances. This could mean that she will conquer any challenges that come her way.

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In the next scene, Shakira is on top of a snowy mountain dancing. “Because snow covers everything and changes a familiar landscape into something new, it can be associated with transformation” (“What Does Snow Symbolize?”). This last scene shoots back and forth from the desert scene where she is dancing with the sun behind her giving her a golden glow to the snowy mountain top. At the end of the music video, her last lyrics are “There over, hereunder. You’ve got me head over heels There’s nothing left to fear, If you really feel the way I feel” then she jumps from the snowy mountain top and dives head first into the deep, vast ocean. “The ocean is the beginning of life on Earth, and symbolizes formlessness, the unfathomable, and chaos. The ocean can also be a symbol of stability, as it can exist largely unchanged for centuries. The ocean is boundless, a place where one can easily be lost, and can therefore be seen to represent the boundless span of life, and the way one can get lost on the journey through life” (“Ocean”).  

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Whenever two people start dating there is always some level of apprehension. It can be terrifying to let your guard down and let yourself be vulnerable with another person. In this last part of the music video, Shakira diving headfirst into the ocean, diving headfirst into the unknown, speaks volumes to anyone who has ever loved and lost. Perhaps she is being careless with her heart but she did acknowledge the possibility of having her heart broken with her lyrics “these two eyes that are for no other, The day you leave will cry a river, At your feet, I’m at your feet”. Stating that, Shakira has weighed the pros and cons of this commitment and she has decided that it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. The idea of heartbreak is the reason for the guard people keep up, it’s the reason for the apprehension. By using several wonders of earth, she illustrated the warmth, freedom, passion, fearlessness and transformation that one goes through when they feel they have found their soulmate.

Works Cited

“Dreams About Horses – Meaning and Interpretation.” My Dream Symbolism, mydreamsymbolism.com/dreams-about-horses-meaning-and-interpretation/.

“Dreams About Mud – Interpretation and Meaning.” Dreaming and Sleeping, dreamingandsleeping.com/dreams-about-mud-interpretation-and-meaning/.

Entropy, Low. “Symbolism: The Ocean.” Symbolism: The Ocean, thoughtsonsomethings.blogspot.com/2013/03/symbolism-ocean.html.

Google Search, Google, http://www.google.com/search?q=whenever, wherever&oq=whene&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j69i59j69i61.2811j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8.

Mebarak, Shakira. “Shakira – Whenever, Wherever (Official Music Video).” YouTube, YouTube, 3 Oct. 2009, www.youtube.com/watch?v=weRHyjj34ZE.

Ocean, umich.edu/~umfandsf/symbolismproject/symbolism.html/O/ocean.html.

 “Symbolism: The Desert.” FLOURISH EDITING, http://www.flourishediting.com/blog/symbolism-the-desert.

TrustedPsychicMediums. “The Falcon Spirit Animal – A Complete Guide to Meaning and Symbolism.” Trusted Psychic Mediums, 27 Feb. 2019, trustedpsychicmediums.com/spirit-animals/falcon-spirit-animal/.

“What Does Snow Symbolize?” Reference, IAC Publishing, http://www.reference.com/world-view/snow-symbolize-23c1598d88e76e13.

“What Does the Sun Symbolize?” Reference, IAC Publishing, www.reference.com/world-view/sun-symbolize-2e3c070715bcda4d.

“Whenever, Wherever – Shakira: Song Info.” AllMusic, http://www.allmusic.com/song/whenever-wherever-mt0010290926.