It's a class-off: Shakira vs Britney

In case one of your friends hasn't already posted it to Facebook with the caption "OMG Shakira's such a RIIIIIDE SOOOOOO SEXXXXXY", allow me to be the one to tell you that young Shakira of the South Americas has a new musical clip (loathe as I am to use the word "song") out, featuring Pitbull - who, surely, is the new Timbaland and will come to represent pop / hip-hop of the 2010s, much as the aforementioned Timbaland represents that of the early noughties (before him, of course, we have the Neptunes, and so on).

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I got halfway through the video before I knew for sure that brunette Shakira was a ruse, and this let me down so - and I was further let down when I saw the said same Shakira in her underwear, pole dancing. As far as I can tell it had nothing to do with the video, whose concept, in any case, was sketchy at best, and while the Latin songstress had spent roughly a minute convincing us that she was cute and coy and a little bit kooky, this was all then destroyed when we realised - phew! It's okay! Shakira is still sexy! Fear not, human people, hell hath not frozen over.

But it did make me wonder: why is Shakira such a ride, when Britney's similar efforts just made us all pity and deride her?

I'll tell you why. It's because Britney, having had a breakdown and become that most-feared thing, the hysterical woman, is now out of the realm of the "sexy", while Shakira, having never had a breakdown - at least not publicly - and maintaining her level-headed girl-about-town image at all times, has earned the right to call herself sexy at every possible venture.

In any case, and this may be because I'm getting prudish, I find the scene with Shakira in the bath covered in those great plastic balls that I used to love in the adventure playground way sexier than that of her writhing around the pole in her smalls. Because, let's face it, a naked body is just a naked body - a cute female form that's actually interacting, above and beyond simulating sex with a steel rod, is surely more attractive? Comment at will, please, and tell me if I'm being mad, or if I'm being right.