00012: Good Vibrations

Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch (circa 1991-1992) Images from the Internet

When “Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch” came into the scene in 1991 with their song “Good Vibrations,” I immediately felt in love with the group and their music, and I secretly went bonkers over Marky Mark. Seeing him shirtless and sweaty on the stage created tingling sensations all over my body. And for a boy like me, who was just starting to figure out his sexuality, Marky Mark became the secret sin and name I did not dare to speak of. 

Because of Marky Mark’s look and style, which was singing shirtless, with his jeans sagging just enough to show part of his underwear, the fashion company Calvin Klein did not waste any time to sign him up as a model. In 1992, Marky Mark’s picture was all over magazines, billboards, and underwear adds… and the world went bonkers along with me. 

It isn’t just the fact that Marky Mark became a model, nope. It was the fact that Marky Mark became an underwear model. And the modeling image that made even the most closeted man gasp with delight, exhilaration, and ecstasy, was the one picture (see image above) that today continues to be recreated by many famous people, they call the trend “Channeling Marky Mark.”

I remember going to Macy’s several times, just to walk around the underwear section so I could ogle over Marky Mark’s photo. Yet, I never bought the underwear because buying that product was never going to make look like him, maybe feel like Marky Mark, but never look like him. I had always been a skinny guy… until I reached the age of 45. 

The first time I downloaded TIKTOK I saw an infinite number of videos of young men posing shirtless and/or in underwear. Those guys are not professional models; they’re just regular guys who spent too much time at the gym and who have been blessed with genes that make their bodies be chiseled. So, I guess for those guys, wearing the Calvin Klein underwear Marky Mark modeled would make them look like him.

What I realized back in the 90s was that even with my undying lust for Marky Mark, the fashion industry was not going to hook me into buying their products simply for the fact that “sex sells.” In fact, I never bought underwear or clothing based on brands, but rather based on my own taste. 

Brand names have never work for me. That is something I thank my mother for teaching me about while growing up, “Remember, Carlos-Manuel. No matter how much you spend on clothes (or underwear) you will never look like those models, not because you aren’t handsome but because you aren’t them. Never confused what is impressive with what is important.” That has been my mantra since my teenage years, and that to me, are good vibrations. #carlosmanuelspeaksthetruth 

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