Did you know? In terms of record sales, Spice Girls are still the best-selling female group of all time? You gotta give it up to Baby, Posh, Scary, Sporty and Ginger. They totally had it going on. Although their message was broadcast to the world from a bubble gum pop princess girl group platform, their message of lady power is inspirational to say the least. Let’s talk about how Spice Girls encouraged feminism and the lessons we can learn from this fab five.
As a young lady growing up in a Spice World (that’s what I’m dubbing the Spice GIrl era) I have to say that these ladies really inspired me to be proud of being a girl. What did I learn from the Spice Girls? Girls are cool, beautiful, and powerful and when we bond together, we can accomplish anything. Friendship and good relationships with other women are important. Your friends should always come before a boyfriend. It’s OK to experiment and be a little wild (with fashion, new experiences and in making new friends). And, of course, most importantly: Be Yourself.
I also love how they didn’t represent one image of what it is to be a girl but five unique types of girls. Of course it would have been great to have an Academic Spice or a Bookworm spice or a Science Spice (with goggles – ha!) but I will always be thrilled with the five they gave us. Yeah, they all rocked the platforms and high heels but they also showed fans that being a girl isn’t the same for everyone, but more importantly, it was powerful to be a girl. It was cool to be fierce and sassy like Posh, feminine and demure like Baby or athletic but strong like Sporty. Personally, I remember awkwardly tromping around school in my baby blue foam platform sandals high-fiving my girlfriends with a “Girl Power” spring in my step.
Let’s talk about this phrase, Girl Power. The great Wikipedia said the following about Spice Girls’ slogan “Girl Power”:
The phrase was a label for the particular facet of feminist empowerment embraced by the band: that a sensual, feminine appearance and equality between the sexes need not be mutually exclusive. This concept was by no means original in the pop world; both Madonna and Bananarama had employed similar outlooks.
Hell yeah we can look good and be equal to a man! I sit here and wonder- who are the ladies doing this for young women today? I feel like there hasn’t quite been such a diverse girl group plugging raw unfiltered girl power since them. Sure, we’ve got Beyonce, Kreashawn, Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj but none of these ladies emphasize the importance of friendships and relationships with other women as a way to build up women/girl power.
I would love to hear other folks’ Spice Girl memories and thoughts on the Spice Girls’ feminist agenda.