This week marked the 10th anniversary of Lisa Left Eye Lopes’ death. So in her honor I took a trip down TLC memory lane and was surprised at what I heard. For as much as I was exposed to TLC’s music growing up (I was in middle school when CrazySexyCool came out/dominated MTV) I never realized how awesomely subversive and badass these women were. 20 years ago TLC was promoting safe sex, challenging expectations about appearance, and talking frankly about womens’ sexuality.
What do you have on that Niki Minaj?
In my estimation there are three major points on the TLC tip:
Lesson 1: "Dumb rules are left for silly fools"
"You better believe I do what pleases me."
How fucking refreshing. What should a woman wear? What ever the fuck she wants. If that means decorating your oversize pants with condoms, all the better. Early 90′s fashion was there in full force (so many colors) alongside the attitude that confidence was something you had to make on your own.
Lesson 2: "Let’s refresh your head about pullin down the curtains and breakin the waterbed."
"Realize the realism of reality treats us both the same, cause satisfaction is the name of this game"
Fuck yes. TLC was all about women being sex positive and not being afraid to say what they want. Name a song from the last 5 years that so unabashedly talks about womens’ sexual desire, I dare you.
Honestly I can’t think of one. You know there was another song from a while back something about "I’ll let you go further, if you take the southern route" oh wait that was TLC too-
Lesson 3: "Don’t go chasing waterfalls"
I know. I know. But this song was ubiquitous for a reason and it takes the previous two lessons and tempers them with reality. Do what you want, get what you want but be responsible for yourself. The trifecta of life rules. The video is important for showing AIDS affecting a heterosexual white couple at a time when it was still largely thought of as a disease that only concerned the homosexual community. Also, that dance move is imprinted on our collective consciousness.
* I know these aren’t all strictly “Lessons from Left Eye” more like “Lessons from TLC” but I like alliteration so let’s pretend not to notice.