What I Learned About Style from Pink's "There You Go"
Remember when everyone wore pube-skimming hipster PVC flares? Thanks Pink!
Remember when Pink was an R&B artist? I do. I had her first solo album, Can’t Take Me Home, on heavy rotation in 2000. I was 15, and L.A. Reid-era Pink was everything to me (don’t get me wrong, Linda Perry/Missundaztood Pink is everything too, but in a different way—a way that’s palpable for mother-daughter car sing-alongs). I was deep in my hoop earrings and white pants phase at that time, and I thought I was pretty tough, so I adopted "There You Go" as my bad-ass-bitch-with-one-pink-streak-in-her-hair-because-my-parents-wouldn’t-let-me-do-the-whole-head-even-though-I-cried-and-played-the-"I’m a grown up for realsies"-card anthem. If I’m being completely honest “There You Go” is still on my Inspirational/Girl Power playlist, and I listen to it whenever boys are mean, work is hard, or I really need to punch it out at the gym (it’s right up there with Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone”).
"I’ve got a new man, he’s waiting out back / Now what would you think about that" is the pre-"Irreplaceable" era "I could have another you in a minute / Matter of fact he’ll be here in a minute." And the "There You Go" video still ranks fairly high for me in terms of style-spiration, even though now I’m 30 and it’s 2016 and Fran Fine meets Scrubs-era TLC isn’t exactly a lewk anymore. Whether or not it should be is a different issue altogether. Because it most certainly should be. Bring pack PVC pants, high-sheen clear lip gloss and boob tubes, I say. Meanwhile, you can learn everything you need to know about the glory years of the 90s-2000-2003 (I know how that sounds, but don’t pretend like the 90s didn’t spill over a little longer than most decades) just from watching “There You Go” (which was released in December of '99 with the music video following in 00). You’re welcome.
EVERYTHING PINK ALL THE TIME FOREVER
I am a girl but that’s not why pink is my favorite color. Pink is my favorite color because it’s the best color. 2000 was the year pink hair ruled. Right off the back of “Come On Over” Christina Aguilera’s redish-pinkish streaky 'do and Kelis’ “Caught Out There” orange-pink afro in 1999, all the important ladies in pop went full pink, Pink included. Between Pink and Gwen Stefani, 2000 really was the year of fuschia. Pink hair was to 2000 what ombré was to 2013. Outfits were donned to match the locks, and boob tubes were big league.
LIPS OR EYES: CHOOSE ONE (BUT MAKE IT EYES)
Far from vampy Hollywood glamor, the beauty look circa "There You Go" was eye makeup heavy. Forget everything you know about contouring too—matte, one tone skin was a base for a whole lot of eye-lined and upper brow shimmer. I remember it was around this time my mom would shout “Put some lippy on!” more than anything else (mostly because I was a nerd who always did my homework), but as a 15 year old R&B fan, my lips were color free, and loaded with so much sticky, clear Lip Smackers gloss they might as well have been lacquered.
BAD ASS BABES CLASH COLORS AND WEAR PATCHES ON THEIR JEANS
Pink was the ultimate in tough gal chic. Pink and Michelle Rodriguez. If you were the kind of teenage girl who acted like she was going to punch someone at any momment and had a boyfriend who had a car, vibrant, clashing colors, patched up pube-skimming jeans and statement coats were all the rage. Heavy studded belts were also welcome, as were Marlboro Lights and a generous smattering of big girl swears.
LOOKING LIKE AN EXTRA FROM A LATE 90s MUSIC VIDEO IS EVERYTHING
Looking like an extra from a late 90s music video was, in the year 2000, a leading lady move. Pink looked like she’d be right at home in the background of a Destiny’s Child or TLC video, which, by then, was the pinnacle of music video chic. This requires but is not limited to: pants that barely cover one’s vagina, crop tops that with one reach expose a whole lotta under-boob, perfect washboard abs, and punchy choreographed dance moves.
ALL THE EARLY AUGHTS POP STARS LEARNED THEIR MOVES FROM PINK
Later in 2000, Madonna would introduce the world to her cowboy hat wearing, most fabulous modern-era self in Music. A year later, in 2001, Kylie Minogue would appear as a semi-nude, hooded vixen in "Can’t Get You Outta My Head." In 2003, Britney Spears would shoot through an urban landscape on the back of a motorcycle in a plastic jumpsuit in "Toxic." So when you think about it, "There You Go" is actually seminal. It established a style that carried through for much of the early 00s, even if a lot of that style was borrowed from the girl groups of the late 90s. Bet you never realized Pink’s R&B phase is the bridge between 90s and 00s music video style, did you?
IN 2000, WE WERE ALL DRUG DEALERS, APPARENTLY
Burner flip phones being the height of technological chic, we were all aspiring drug dealers with our shitty disposable phones at the turn of the millennium. That, or we were champions of snake. In an era before Beats by Dre were shoved into our eye sockets by nearly every music video released, before selfies were a thing, before we were all attention locked to our smart-phone screens, the coolest thing you could rep in your video was a cell phone. It might look crappy now, but mark my words, children born after 1990: You were no one without a flippable phone in the year 2000.
If we get the Pink we deserve, I can't help but feel like we've done something wrong in the past 15 years. Cirque du soleil/aerial pilates, Thanks For Sharing-Alecia-Moore-Pink must be punishment for something if what we began with was this glorious R&B angel in "There You Go."
Will Kat George be ressurrecting the Pink's baby bonnet snood in 2016? Ask her on Twitter.