If Ricky Martin’s gayness seems yawningly obvious in retrospect, it’s worth remembering that his greatest hits were released just a decade after the era when some of rock’s most wantonly heterosexual frontmen favored makeup, feathered hair, and assless pants. Still, it does seem telling that the title of Martin’s 2000 hit was “She Bangs,” leaving generously open-ended the question of precisely who or what or how or when she bangs (hence, perhaps, William Hung’s eagerness to throw himself into the ring).
The video was directed by shameless MTV veteran Wayne Isham, who also helmed the clips for Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” and Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” For “She Bangs,” Isham sent Martin under the sea to a club where a man-octopus hybrid serves as bouncer and a force field keeps the water at bay so effectively that Martin’s frosted tips are squeegeed completely dry. Inside, women paw Martin from all directions, to which treatment he responds with a school-photo smile that might have been the big gay giveaway if it weren’t so hard to shake the suspicion that Ricky Martin actually does smile exactly like that during sex.
To show that we’re looking at a big-budget star here, Isham throws in some high-tech effects (emphasis on “high”) including a weird interlude where Martin seems to be conversing with a mirrored version of himself (“What are they all doing in that big cubicle without me?”), and an even weirder interlude where he’s suspended above the dance floor for a sort of wobbly swimming dance.
“But I thought there was no water in the club,” you say. “[Snorrrrrt] OH YEEEEAH! Wait, what?” replies Wayne Isham.
Martin just seems bemused by the whole adventure; “She looks like a flower but she stings like a bee,” he sings, “like every girl in history.” Women! Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live…oh, wait! Is that Channing Tatum dancing in the background? Yes. Yes, it is.