In Defense of The Spice Girls by Sady Doyle, Rookie Mag
“…There was lots of giggling, with the Spice Girls; there was lots of hugging; there were a lot of bright, colorful outfits; there was a lot of hyper, bubbly silliness, and sometimes it would just wear a cynical person right out. But the Spice Girls weren’t for cynical people. They were for very young girls—sometimes girls who were still in grade school. (Those Spice Girl dolls weren’t selling to 22-year-old gender-studies majors. At least not unironically.) And in the moment that those girls were starting to figure out what “girlhood” meant, to them, they were relying on an image of ladies having fun together and supporting one another. Maybe they were even reading interviews in which those ladies said things like this: “Just because you’ve got a short skirt on and a pair of tits, you can still say what you want to say. We’re still very strong.”
That was Baby Spice, who said that. Baby! The meek, cutesy one! We didn’t get another pop star willing to say stuff like this—or to dress up in drag and romance her bandmates—until Lady Gaga.
But we all kept complaining about the Spice Girls—especially us feminists. And eventually, they broke up. Big victory, right? Well, no. Because the Spice Girls were not replaced by other, more serious girl groups. They were replaced by Britney Spears. And Christina Aguilera. And others like them, setting the trend of iconic, sexy, solo pop superstars that persists up into our current day of Swift, Gaga, and Beyoncé. The Spice Girls had told the world, “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.” And the entertainment industry responded with, “Lose the friends. Then we’ll talk.”
We were wrong about the Spice Girls. We were wrong about whether they “killed feminism” by not representing our favorite kind. We were wrong about their not having a message. We were wrong about their not being unique. We were scared that the Spice Girls would make feminism too mainstream and commercial. Well, good news: feminism is totally unpopular now, hurray! But I’m going to take this moment, right now, to apologize—and I hope you’ll join me.
Mel C., Mel B., Emma, Geri, Victoria: Ladies, I am sorry that I complained so much about you. It was OK for you to be poppy. It was OK for you to be peppy. It was OK for you to be perky. It was even OK for you to make “Wannabe.” Because you did all those things, and you also told girls that they matter, and that sticking together was more important than anything else. You told girls that they—as a group, not as a collection of sexy, boy-loving loners—could, however briefly, take over the world. That was a good thing to do, Spice Girls. And we haven’t seen anything like it since.”
|via: redemancy / source: wildthicket||10 months ago on August 14th, 2012 with 82 notes|