"I Wanna Be Bad"

Monday, January 23, 2012

For no reason whatsoever, I thought of Willa Ford this past week. I am probably one of about 323 people in the world who own Willa Ford's 2001 album "Willa Was Here." To this day, I still don't even know if I was ever a fan of hers, but she did have one and only one song that made it fairly big, and if you were between the ages of 13 and 25 in 2001, you probably know this one:


The reason the video is in sepia and flipped is because this is apparently the "banned" version of the "I Wanna Be Bad" music video. Because apparently a girl in stripper heels and a plastic corset was too risque in 2001. (Can this really be true?) Here's the original if you really care to watch -- it's incredibly boring.

Let's be honest for a moment, though (not to say that I'm not usually honest) ... the only reason I own her album is because she was, at the height of the Backstreet Boys' fame, Nick Carter's longtime girlfriend. I can't tell you how many "I Hate Mandy" websites there were for her. It was ridiculous. Me, I was going through that period of adolescence when you skip past hating the significant other of the object of your affection and go straight to fascination/emulation. Aside from getting really into "statement tees" and cross-body backpacks (though I don't think I ever bought one), there wasn't much about Mandy Williford (her birth name) I could really emulate. I mean, just look at her.

source: original Atlantic Records photoshoot
In 2001, Ms. Williford would've been 20 years old, and she just celebrated her 31st birthday yesterday (yes, I still remember her birthday). It seems like just a year or two ago that she was on "Dancing With The Stars," but apparently it's been 5-going-on-6 years. It's PAINFUL how quickly time seems to be passing. 1993 feels like 9, maybe 11 years ago, but apparently it's now been 19 years. How can this be!?

Back to Willa Ford. It's funny, watching this video now, how young and slightly awkward she seems, despite being extremely sexy. I don't think "I Wanna Be Bad" was the best song on her album (maybe "Did Ya Understand That" was better), and the rest of her album wasn't terrible. I'm mostly surprised that anyone still knows who she is and that she was big enough to be considered for "Dancing With The Stars" at all. To this day, when I think of her, I think of a really skinny blonde teen from Tampa, living the lifestyle I thought I wanted to live. (This was -- not coincidentally -- when I went through my "Florida phase," which included a pseudo-obsession with palm trees. Now they blend in with the rest of the "scenery" here in Taipei.) Now when I look at photos of her, I see a slight resemblance to Kate Winslet I never saw back then.

I've also seen the girl live, for free, on this August (?) night in Central Park:


It's nice to have little trips down memory lane every once in a while to remember how far we've all come.

You Might Also Like

0 comments

Subscribe