Shakira's Tongue Inspires Biggest Super Bowl Meme -- Here's the Meaning Behind It
By Jennifer Drysdale
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Shakira's hips don't lie, but it's her tongue that has everyone talking. Yes, really.
The "Can't Remember to Forget You" singer rocked the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday with an epic performance that included her greatest hits, an epic guitar solo and her signature belly dancing. It also included Shak ferociously wagging her tongue at the camera in a three-second shot we can never unsee.
If Jennifer Lopez's daughter, Emme, was the highlight of her Super Bowl set, Shakira's tongue trick was the highlight of hers (kidding, but also not really). The memes from that moment may very well be the legacy of Super Bowl LIV -- and we're not mad about it.
While Shakira's halftime show moment inspired the biggest meme of the night, fans also took to Twitter to educate people on the special meaning behind her tongue move. Shakira, whose father is of Lebanese decent, appeared to be performing a traditional Arab vocal expression called zaghrouta.
According to one user, "Shakira wasn’t just being funny with the 'tongue thing.' what she did is called a zaghrouta, an Arabic tradition used to express joy, excitement, celebration. typically heard at weddings. FYI, she’s part Lebanese."
debated whether to chime in, but so many disrespectful memes: Shakira wasn’t just being funny with the “tongue thing.” what she did is called a zaghrouta, an Arabic tradition used to express joy, excitement, celebration. typically heard at weddings. FYI, she’s part Lebanese.
During a press conference ahead of the show, Shakira opened up about how she and Lopez were working together as co-headliners.
"Your show and my show feel very different, but very complementary. They complement each other," she explained. "We've been working so hard the past few weeks to make sure that everything is as good as we can feel it, that it is. So that everybody this Sunday can enjoy a great show. We're doing everything in our hands to make sure [of that]."
She also spoke to the importance of having two Latinas co-headline this year's halftime show.
"What does it feel like? Let's see, you feel a lot of things," she shared. "If someone told me when I lived in Barranquilla, Colombia, that I'd be here singing at the Super Bowl, one of the most important global events, I wouldn't have believed it, but here we are. It's real, and I think it's an example that anything is possible."
"We have to dream big and fight for our goals because they are obtainable with discipline and effort, and I'm really grateful for this opportunity too, because it's an opportunity to show what we Latinos are made of," she added. "I feel truly honored to be representing so many people out there. Women, Latinas and people of any ages. I think J.Lo and I are here redefining paradigms about age, about race, about background."