Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Spice Up Your Life
It was the mid nineties and the entire population of England was unashamedly enthralled by two words that would change the face of feminism forever….Girl Power.
I was 9 years old when the Spice Girls first released Wannabe and it was from that moment that I realized that girls could be loud, brash and naughty and people would still love you for it. So the Spice Girls were of course a manufactured, well researched, mostly auto tuned pop band, complete with five distinct personalities that different girls could relate to, but they were an inspiration to millions of young girls, and boys all around the world.
The spice girls get a lot of flack for the rise of girl gangs in England at the time, and not the ‘lets all braid each others hair’ type, the let’s go down the high street and mug people kind. I don’t think that is what the Spice Girls represented at all. They were a group of friends who were having a laugh, who didn’t need men to make them happy and who would put each other first.
If you want to be my lover you gotta get with my friends, wasn’t a beautifully written lyric line no, but it was a great message none the less.
The Spice Girls had a resounding effect on young ladies everywhere. Yes we all bought into the merchandise, and if I remember rightly very few desks weren’t littered with spice girl rulers and pencil cases that year, but more than that we bought into the idea that perhaps girls did have power, that we could zig a zig ah without transgressing any socially dictated conventions.
For me it was ginger spice…funnily enough it also was for my brother. She was giggly and mouthy and kissed Nelson Mandela on the cheek when she met him. I thought she was brilliant and glamorous and amazing and when she left the group I was devastated. I actually got to meet her once when I went swimming with my brother, and he’ll hate me for saying it but he was just as excited about it as me. We also walked to Emma Bunton’s house to drop a note asking for tickets to the Spice Girls tour, something that makes my cheeks go red when I think about it now.
But the reason I bring up the Spice Girls is because my birthday made me realize how lucky I am to have these strong independent ladies around me now. I still find myself being inspired and changed by these great role models who look after each other and me everyday. I doubt all of us have the Spice Girls to thank for not being meek, gentile and unadventurous people, and perhaps they were just a product of changing times. What I do know is having the confidence to find happiness in ourselves and not expecting to find it in other people is definitely what Girl Power was all about
Over and Out
PS: If you are wondering if I went to see the reunion tour then the answer is yes. Me and my sister put our hair in pigtails covered ourselves in glitter and sang every word of every song until neither of us could talk...twas magical xxx