We're watching videos from the 90s. Babyface, Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey. All of the bared midriffs and gel-slicked baby hairs. I begged my mother to let me cut my hair like T-Boz: long bangs in the front, tapered, then shaved, in the back. She said no. Billy, Christine, and I would record our favorite music videos on blank VHS tapes and replay them, constantly, moving furniture out of the way to make room for our dance studio. We studied the choreography and practiced the moves for hours, waiting until we had mastered them before cajoling our parents to come downstairs and watch us perform. We were superstars.
So in the Honey video, Mariah Carey is a secret agent running away from some nefarious kidnappers, or something. She is rescued with a helicopter in the middle of the ocean while wearing a black rubber leotard, stiletto heels, and cat ears. She laughs gaily on the lap of one of her saviors, as he raps to the camera.
The bagginess of everyone's clothing is hilarious. 112 was wearing jumpsuits about 3 sizes too big. Combined with the occasional slow-mo shots and the copious amount of spinning incorporated into their dance routine, it works. It creates an attractive sense of negative space.
"I used to think you danced differently based on the shoes you wore," Eric just confessed. I don't think he's wrong. ("It's hard to do this backwards. / You should try it in HEELS!")
Man, it was infuriating to be a ten year old watching these videos. Every single woman was the same brand of tall and skinny, with shapely butts and big boobs. Their hair held all the expensive secrets I feared I would never learn. And, make up? I would despair, and wear capris beneath my jeans to try and fool other people into thinking I had more butt and thighs than I did. My pants were always still too baggy. I had no idea how to look like these women. I had no idea that when I turned 25, I wouldn't be going to parties where all of the women wore bikinis and all 5 of the men in attendance wore jumpsuits and backwards jerseys. This was a future I anticipated. I would finally be able to shave my legs and get fake nails. Bliss.