I find it a little strange when people get hysterical over the death of celebrities but, nevertheless, the loss of life is still sad. Especially if said person is someone that you look up to or that has influenced your life in a positive way. I cried at the passing of Nelson Mandela, MCA, Maya Angelou and Aaliyah.
I remember hearing the news about Aaliyah’s tragic death like it was yesterday. I was 16 years old, on summer holidays after my GCSE’s. It was still early days for me but . I wore baggy pants and fitted tops with skate shoes or Converse All Stars. At the time, there was hardly any women in mainstream media whose style appealed to me apart from Aaliyah and maybe Gwen Stefani. I wanted to be able to pull off the women-in-menswear as effortlessly as they did. Then news came of the plane crash and my initial reaction was “who will I look up to now?“.
In hindsight, there really hasn’t been anyone since. I mean, I see so many people with great style but nothing I’ve ever felt inclined to emulate. Maybe that’s what happens with age and maturity but Aaliyah’s sense of style and the essence of her very being was a perfect balance of soft, archetypal femininity and that iconic gritty, inner-city, utilitarian style of early 90’s hiphop and R’n’B.
Today, she would’ve been 36.