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Thursday, August 29, 2013

I found a 1999 photo of the Tark 1 pants that I’ve worn a couple of times this summer.


This was taken at the Delano Hotel in Miami, either right before or after a Ricky Martin concert. That was the year of Ricky’s #1 hit, “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” and he was a hot ticket.

“Loca” wasn’t what initially blew Ricky up. That was the electrifying performance of his World Cup theme song, “La Copa de la Vida,” at the Grammys on Feb. 24, 1999. Watch it through to the end. Look at Trudie Styler (aka Mrs. Sting) in the red jacket giving Ricky an ecstatic standing ovation. And check out Ricky’s face in those final shots! I swear, he knew he had changed his life. (If he had any doubts I’m sure that Madonna, who knows a lot about iconic performances, erased them when she got touchy-feely with him in front of the cameras later.).

“Livin’ la Vida Loca” was released the next month and Ricky was immediately the biggest thing around. Too bad he had to spend so much time dancing around questions about his sexuality instead of just dancing. He obviously felt like he couldn’t be open, but now that I think back on it, why was it so important for people to ask? So they could think they had a chance with him? WTF! He put on a great show. Why not simply enjoy it? (As I was working on this post, an interview with GQ Australia came out in which Ricky discussed his struggle to accept himself.)

I still have the Betsey Johnson halter top I wore with the Tark 1 pants for the concert. At that point, the halter was already 12 or 13 years old. I got it on sale at the Betsey store on E. 60th St. in New York in 1986 or 1987, when I was in college. It was daringly low-cut for me at the time, so I thought it was very special and I could never part with it. Over the years, I’ve come close to throwing it out because it’s in bad shape and I’m not going to wear it but then I think, “Oh, it’s not taking up too much room,” re-fold it as small as I can and put it back in the drawer. Here it is:


I did get rid of the red shoes a long time ago. We had some ugly shoes in the late ’90s. I don’t like the looks of that heel at all. I still like patent leather though.

My 1999 hair was practically as high as it was in the ’80s. This was while I was growing out a very short — Jean Seberg-short — pixie.


The late actress Jean Seberg.



I had my hair that short before, but this time I wasn’t feeling it. Once it grew out a bit, I teased it up ’80s style to make the most of what there was. I haven’t gone back to a pixie since!

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14 Responses to “Throwback Thursday: Dressed for Ricky Martin in 1999”

  1. Alexis Grace says:

    I had a pixie cut in eight grade— which was a serious mistake because I was involved in a lot of sports at the time and hadn’t quite developed yet. So I probably looked like a boy… alas- live and learn!

    Meanwhile, I too have a few sentimental pieces that were just big special purchases at one time and while I won’t wear them again, I just can’t imagine parting with them either!

    • WendyB says:

      Oh, yeah, I also had an ultra short cut around age 11 or so and was often mistaken for a boy! Including at the pool when I was wearing a one piece bathing suit? Wtf!

  2. Sheila says:

    Oh, man, the shoes of the 90s…weren’t they the worst?? I see them in consignment stores all the time – so chunky and ugly and toe-y (I really don’t like that much toe hanging out – I have ET toes, myself, so you see the issue!).

    I don’t have many really old special items, but the few that I do are boxed up in my “clothing archives”. Good for you for not getting rid of your “daring” Betsey halter, Wendy! You rocked that look!

    • WendyB says:

      Toe-y — that’s the word I’ve been needing for why I hate ’90s shoes so much. I kept blaming the heel alone but I have chunky heel shoes now that are fine. It’s the proportion of the chunky heel and the toe! Ugh! Ugliest shoes evah!

      • Miss Conduct says:

        It was the whole slides thing. You could just hardly find any sandals with a heel strap, and they all had that very thick part (don’t know what it’s called) around the instep. I had at least five pairs that looked just like that–in different colors and heel heights. I finally declared a moratorium on slides.

        Right after that, we had the platypus toe. Those look even more dated to me. They’re so urgly, you just know they’ll come back.

        I love chunky shoes–I have thin calves and I like how they provide some balance down there.

      • WendyB says:

        Yes, you’re right! There WERE tons of slides! That’s all I wore!

  3. When I was a kid my mother always made the salon give me a “pixie” cut because she said I had such thin stringy hair. I hated it as I already thought I looked like a boy since everyone said I looked like my father. All I wanted was long hair & as soon as I was able to refuse to go to the hair salon (at age 9 or 10) I started growing it & kept it quite long for awhile. Wasn’t until in my teens I started playing around with different ‘do’s. Crazy, but I actually love pixie cuts now! Always battling if I should cut it short or let it grow… It’ll never be waist length like it was 12 years ago (another regret as thats when I learned the texture had changed from pregnancy, the length kept it from frizzing) I do quite like you with short hair, shows off your features so beautifully! I have a bunch of stuff in absolute tatters being held together with safety pins that I will NEVER get rid of, they don’t take up much room & hold such great memories. Besides I’ve already kicked myself for getting rid of stuff I never should have in a fit of trying to de-clutter ): Lesson learned. I agree 100% about the whole sexuality thing, I find it so sad what people have to go through for what shouldn’t be anyone’s business but their own whether they want to announce it or not. XXX

  4. Bethany Grant says:

    Haha Wendy, thanks for sharing the old school pics!

    As you can tell from my picture, I still have short hair, though its more Audrey Hepburn “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” than Demi Moore “Ghost”.

    You know I like extremes, though. And, a little known secret of mine is that I wore my head shaved for a long time. Click on the link to my Pinterest page & you will see what I mean!


    The reaction to me in a little black dress & 6″ heels with a shaved head was one of the best ever! =)

    & yes, I got mistaken for a boy sometimes.

  5. You look fantastic with short hair! I had mine short as a teenager until someone asked my mum if I was her oldest son.

  6. annemarie says:

    From the 80s to the 90s to now, you always look the exact same. What the hell are you doing? I ask as someone who, just twenty minutes ago, attempted to take a selfie to showcase the new stud in my lobe and dropped the phone in horror when I saw what I consider to be a very deep laugh line that I KNOW wasn’t there last week.

    I like the shoes. I dunno. There are about ten years between us, so maybe your shoe tastes were formed during the pointy-toed 80s and mine came of age during the clunky square-toed 90s. I can’t talk shit about them. I’d feel bad.