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September 14, 2007

Another Reason I Miss College

“Smart and beautiful … that’s a dangerous combination.”
- Me, to my wife, about 2 days ago

When I made that remark to my wife, it was in reference to our 6-year-old daughter, an academic smarty-pants (high-level reader, early writer, etc) who has blossomed from "cutie-pie kid" to "beautiful girl" before our very eyes over the last few months. It was a joking commentary about how many guys are intimidated by girls who are exceedingly smart or amazingly attractive – and how such a girl can become very influential upon people.

Then I flipped on the computer today and learned that Shakira has been attending UCLA this semester – and the exact same quote came to mind. It also triggered a couple of other thoughts in my head, namely …

1. Wait … Shakira’s smart? Who knew?
2. She’s at UCLA - that’s my alma mater. Will they publish her phone number in our alumni directory now?
3. If I hear that she’s signing up for the triathlon club, I might have to schedule a trip back to campus for some workouts this fall. And most importantly …
4. Why didn’t this kind of thing ever happen when I was there?

I have to admit, I kind of dismissed Shakira as a mindless pop music tart when she came on the scene a few years ago. In fact, I used her for this analogy of how committing myself to the sport of triathlon was the point when I officially became insane. So it’s odd to think of her partaking in the more respectable disciplines of academia.

(Especially when the official press release contains statements like this: “[Shakira] decided to take a musical rest this summer following her worldwide Oral Fixation tour to focus on social causes.” Talk about conflicting messages.)

But in light of the ongoing train wreck that is Britney Spears, it’s refreshing to see a video hottie making headlines for something besides shaving her head or forgetting to wear underpants. I swear, if you had asked me five years ago who had the brighter future, there’s no way I would have bet on Shakira over Britney. Then again - as I think I’ve mentioned before – I’m an idiot.

And I’m starting to like Shakira a lot more now. I guess I just have a thing for dangerous girls.


a.maria 9/14/07, 12:36 PM  

whoa seriously. you'd have bet on britney OVER shakira?!

wow. yeah no. perhaps i'm more aware of latin music b/c of my background, but.. shakira's no where NEAR the sleaze-fest that is britney spears.

plus, you gotta give her props for taking time out to learn english, which she only did recently. and now she's studying in the US.

not an easy thing to do.

21stCenturyMom 9/14/07, 12:38 PM  

Do your daughter a favor and don't ever discuss being smart and attractive in terms of it being a dangerous combination. If our culture accepted and even respected smart and beautiful women they wouldn't have to struggle so hard to get what they deserve. They wouldn't have to deal with animosity that is foisted on them based on other people's insecurity. They could just be who they are and enjoy what they have instead of feeling a need to hide it or apologize for it.

I'm over the hill now but I had my day and what should have been a set of assets turned out to be something I had to manage to placate other people. So wrong.

So raise your daughter to hold her head high and to be all she can be regardless of destructive cultural stereotypes like "smart and beautiful is a dangerous combination". Let her brains and beauty be a blessing, not a curse.

And that's your daily rant. Sorry.

Annette 9/14/07, 1:51 PM  

Just because someone decides to go to college doesn't mean they're smart. Let's wait until the tabloids publish her report card. :) (Just to clarify, I have no issues with Shakira! Good for her for branching out.)

And, yes, enjoy your daughter's brains and beauty. It may make a dad crazy when the boys start coming around, but don't start thinking about that yet. ;)

Laurie 9/14/07, 3:18 PM  

You're right about smart and beautiful women intimidating men. That's what I like to tell myself anyway ;)

Backofpack 9/14/07, 6:06 PM  

I don't know...Eric doesn't seem intimidated by me...

I hope you were smart enough to follow up that comment to your wife with "just like her Mother."

rick 9/14/07, 10:00 PM  

That's what Shakira looks like? huh, nice. Had no idea. And yes guilty...I'm intimidated by exceedingly smart and amazingly attractive girls, add to that incredibly athletic. No worries I have a self help book called the "shy single". However I've owned it for 2 years now and I haven't read a single page so I may be doomed for awhile.

Makita 9/15/07, 5:24 AM  

I love Shakira's music and cheer for her success at UCLA. I'm with A.Maria - 5 years ago, I would've sided with Shakira over Britney.

You daughter must get her 'word smarts' from you and her looks from her mother. :) :)

craig 9/15/07, 7:34 PM  

Always thought you were an opptimist. Rooting for Britney -- dead give away.

Mike 9/16/07, 1:31 PM  

UCLA eh? As an SC grad, I won't hold it against you! ;-)

angie's pink fuzzy 9/16/07, 9:23 PM  

OMG, I re-enter the blogosphere to find Donald still writing about Shakira. Yes! The world has not changed!

And Britney...ewww...

Shakira - she's perfect. Amazing abs, incredible dancer, fantastic voice - and she's smart. Sigh.

Julia 9/16/07, 10:51 PM  

Not that I'm a fan of Shakira or anything but I have this thing for remembering silly facts that I read in magazines while I'm waiting for my hair to be cut...

- Shakira was an early learner, knew how to read and write at 4.

- Her brothers and sisters are all professionals (7), including neurosurgeon (sis) and Lawyer (brother).

So, yeah, she's smart and beautiful...

Dying Water Buffalo 9/18/07, 1:00 PM  

I'm learning how to do the Shakira/Beyonce video choreography in gogo dance lessons :P

And regarding Shakira, I think she's one of the few pop tarts who actually has a set of pipes (along with xtina), so that's why I respect her.

Anne 9/18/07, 3:22 PM  

I've read/heard several times now that Shakira has a very high IQ, but I don't know if that's in relation to the general population or the entertainment industry, which inspired So You Think You're Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?

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