When Back to Black came out in 2007, it was one of those albums that defined a summer for me and really inspired a lot of creativity. As much as people want to now focus on her drug problem, alcohol addiction, and what a hot mess in general she was … I would like to remember her for a door she opened.
Before the Gaga’s, Florence and the Machine’s and the Ke$ha’s and the world … there was Amy Winehouse in 2007 with her beehive and winged-out eye liner. While the world was coming off of their Britney Spears and Christina Aquilera and, in general, pop highs … she came walking into the American music scene with this really retro, 1950’s vibe to her that was contagious. In fact, if I remember correctly, her look was a little shocking. She was miniature with all of these fabulous tattoo’s, colorful bra straps hanging out of a 1950’s-esque take on a shorter dress. And now, women are being incubated on stage and we don’t even blink.
I was in college when the Winehouse craze was taking place, trying to “find myself,” and after seeing the video for “Rehab” I desperately wanted her look. I would wing out my eye liner as much as I could and put my own take on the beehive, since quite frankly I did not have enough hair to pull off hers. I even think I wore a white tank with a colorful bra underneath it and a scarf in my hair. All of a sudden it was okay to look vintage chic instead of dipped in designer threads. To this day, I still wing out my liquid liner … maybe not as drastic as I once tried… but it is still with me. Her look, when she was healthy, was timeless.
She was one of the first female artists with a voice and presence who made it okay to be your own person without having to wear a belly shirt, have blond hair, and jeans so low you actually wondered if those chicks had vaginas. She truly was a throw back and quite frankly a breath of fresh air. Personally, her sense of style opened a lot of doors for me and made me want to push boundaries a little bit more.
With all negativity aside and her life choices and what she turned herself into, it truly is a tragic loss and I will forever hold Back to Black close to my heart and want to do the twist to every single one of her songs.
Rest in peace.
One thought on “An Ode to Amy Winehouse”
Amy Winehouse was a contrast from the same old crap in every sense. Her look was flashback and her sound dwarfed the pop quickies permeating the landscape. She was a rare talent whose soul will live long past many of her dead weight contemporaries.
I really enjoyed your ode to her. Thanks.