George Michael's "Freedom! '90": Our Style Inspo 23 Years Later




Pop music has no shortage of singers stripping, swearing, and twerking their way to deliverance from their former labels, networks, and corporate image spinners. And, one of its most beautifully executed declarations of independence emerged 23 (!) years ago this month when a young and studly George Michael released his video for "Freedom! '90." In it, a burning leather jacket and exploding jukebox help declare the break from his ass-shaking, boy-bander image. But, no matter how thoughtful the message, the song’s “I’m no boy toy” lyrics were quickly overshadowed by five gorgeous, lip-syncing creatures: Linda, Christy, Cindy, Tatjana, and Naomi — the original Supers.

Directed by David Fincher, this was the Supers’ crossover moment (Beauty-geekout: The models' manes were tended by then-rising, now-legendary hairstylist Guido Palau.) But, this is no "Blurred Lines" precursor, where a wide-angle lens leers over every lean inch of models’ bodies. Instead, pulsing closeups of the Supers’ faces depict smart women who are in control. It's not that these ladies aren't sexy — Naomi may be wearing bondage gear, and Linda, nothing but an oversized sweater — but their glowing-yet-matte complexion and smoky eyes exude sophistication. They’re calling the shots.

Perhaps it’s the smattering of new brick- and berry-lipcolor offerings that hark on '90s nostalgia (check out our current favorites). Or, maybe it’s the frantic rebranding efforts by certain former tween stars that have us turning away from dewy skin and loud lips, and back to a more refined, smoldering look that feels womanly, not girly. If there’s a beauty lesson to be learned here, it’s that the classics come back for a reason: They get it right.

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