Ricky Martin’s autobiography “Me” (The Spanish version is called “Yo”) is not your typical celebrity tell-all book. It is in fact just about him in entirety. He does not even do name dropping here, simply describing other people in the book as the little yogi, that record executive, my backup singer friend, that woman or this man. So if you are looking for some celebrity dirt, gossip, behind -the-scenes frauds or the scandals about the people he bedded, this book is certainly not going to please you. A balanced and wise person that he has become, Ricky Martin keeps a very positive attitude throughout this appropriately-titled memoir which documents his younger days in Puerto Rico, from his time in the hit boy-band “MENUDO” to his living la vida loca days as THE Latin pop phenomenon in the late 90's, his spiritual discovery through travelling in India which later led to philanthropy, becoming a father and his homosexuality.
Ricky Martin writes well and he writes simple. In general, the book is a pleasant read. The chapter where he writes about coming out as a gay man is relatable to all of us who have been through it. The initial confusion and the denial period, the pressure of keeping a secret and the constant fear of someone finding out the truth and then of course, the whole process of coming out and the eventual bliss that comes with it, he shares his journey in a most genuine and optimistic way that I believe this book will benefit to those who are struggling with their sexuality or those who are simply in need of inspiration, help or moral support. As he puts it “My intention in coming out was not necessarily to inspire anyone, but if on top of bringing me all the joy that it has, if my experience can serve someone else, that fills me with immense happiness. It is also a blessing to know that with my life I can benefit others, and I live that with great honor.” (So...brothers and sisters out there, coming out is definitely tough but don't give up. Read his experience. You'll see that IT GETS BETTER. )
Chapter three, simply titled “My time to shine” details his world domination at the peak of his fame. What a mega star he was back then. I still remember how my grandmother went wild every time his FIFA World cup 98 song, La Copa De La Vida, showed up on MTV. She adored his iconic hip-swinging moves. Ricky Martin had the whole world in his hands. It was also a very important period for The Latin music industry and the stars like Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias who followed the path he paved later on. However, the most touching part of the book comes when he shares his joy of becoming a father to his twin boys. He writes it so sincerely that even those who are not parents can absolutely feel what it must be like. He is incredibly proud and overjoyed about receiving this gift of nature. In his case, lucky man, he’s got two.
“Repetitiveness” is one slight weakness of “Me” though. Maybe he first wrote the book in Spanish and then had somebody to translate it into English (or did it himself). Either way, the same ideas, expressions and references reappear over and over again in the book. I just feel that it needs a bit more editing. But overall, I applaud him for putting a positive spin on such a topic, homosexuality, which even in 2011 is still somehow a taboo and also for sharing his humanitarian work and philanthropic activities with us. We do need more angels on earth, don’t we?