Shakira, Why Are You Mopping That Carpet?

Shakira shared a TikTok, lip-syncing to SZA's 'Kill Bill' while mopping the carpet in a perfect example of meta-irony.

Shakira performing live smiling

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Alleged tax evader and performer Shakira has shared a TikTok of her lip-syncing to SZA’s ‘Kill Bill’ while mopping the carpet. It could well be the most perfect example of meta-irony I have ever seen.

The video was uploaded to the Colombian singer’s TikTok five days ago and all I am asking is…why?

There’s nothing more entertaining to me, personally, than celebrities failing to be relatable. Whether it’s Kardashians hacking away at cucumbers, or Gwyneth Paltrow crying over eating bread — there’s something so fascinating about the ultra rich accidentally showing how far removed they are from the everyday.

For some celebrities like Julia Fox, Paris Hilton, and even Succession‘s Jeremy Strong, being untethered from the mere mortal plane is an essential part of their brand. It also makes the moments where these celebrities seemingly break kayfabe — like Jeremy Strong’s infamous New Yorker profile — to discuss their real human emotions all the sweeter; evoking visceral reactions from audiences and observers.

At the other end of the spectrum are the rare form of celebrities who genuinely pull off presenting themselves as everyday folks who happen to be famous. There are the obvious examples, like screen legend Keanu Reeves. But a true queen in this category is beloved Kiwi actor, Melanie Lynskey, whose delightful tweets could easily be that of any fannish pop-culture connoisseur. Her tweets feel like they’re written by an actual person, not a faceless PR entity ‘excited to announce a new project’.

And then, there’s…whatever Shakira is doing with that mop in her kitchen. She’s definitely showing some serious appreciation for SZA’s banger, but one cannot help but wonder if the singer is genuinely trying to appear relatable by dragging a mop over a carpet in her kitchen. One also has to wonder (one being me) why the hell is there a carpet in her kitchen at all?!

There’s no caption beneath the video to divine Shakira’s creative process here, either. Considering her other content on the app — dance choreography videos and curated concert appearances, mostly — only makes the mop video more baffling. The questions are simply endless.

In 2020, popular arts philosophy youtuber jREG defined meta-irony in the age of social media. The video has millions of views and has formed the basis of much analysis of “Gen Z humour”. Irony is the basis of the majority of memes and internet humour, but as jREG and also Shrek might say, it has layers.

Those layers are threefold: one level of irony is just sarcasm; minion memes your mum posts about running late counting as cardio. A level up is post-irony; something starts out as irony but ends up being sincere — think Cady’s journey into plastic girlhood in Mean Girls. The third level (the ‘Shakira dry mopping her kitchen carpet’ level, if you will) is meta-irony.

According to jREG, meta-irony occurs when the truth behind the irony of the art being presented is ambiguous and inscrutable. Is Shakira genuinely trying to appear relatable? Or was she just in a silly goofy mood? Absurd enough to be ironic, but not so much that the video couldn’t be sincere. There’s no way to tell which side of the coin the mop video lands, making it a near perfect example of meta-irony.

Although, the truth behind Shakira dry mopping her carpet could have something to do with the fact that she may be going to jail for tax evasion. Nothing like a viral TikTok with a dash of meta-irony to show you’re down with the kids and not down with incarceration.