I cannot let this week pass without mentioning my idols, the phenomenon that is, The Spice Girls. I touched on my affinity with them in the last post, low and behold a few days later, the band are back together (except Posh) to do a tour next Summer. Thank you Karma. I’m excited, right down to my platform shoes. Thank you Karma. This world currently needs a bit of #GirlPower. Thank you Karma. 😛
The first time I ever laid eyes on the girls was the August of 1996, they were being interviewed on The Big Breakfast. The Big Breakfast was Channel 4’s version of a magazine type morning show, almost like ‘This Morning’, only it was aimed at younger viewers. Anarchic chaos was the theme to ‘The Big Breakfast’, breaking away from the stuffiness and commercialism of the shows on other channels, they did things differently. It was the perfect platform for The Spice Girls.
Each of the girls played their parts, and played their parts very well. They each had a core. With their core, they over-exaggerated themselves, this gave each of them an individual persona to play to an audience. There was someone for everyone. Victoria (aka Posh), loved shopping & fashion and has a great sense of humour. Melanie C, (aka Sporty) loved sport and football, who in my opinion had the best voice, she stood out on their tracks. Emma (aka Baby), loved everything pink and fluffy. Geri (aka Ginger) was loud and outspoken with a crazy fashion sense. Finally Melanie Janine Brown (aka Scary Spice), Northern, funny, wicked laugh, naughty, mischievous, loud and proud, a force to be reckoned with and the confidence to boot. I was drawn to Mel B.
Mel B has this gift of being able to blurt out what is on her mind without any filter. She would appear on screen and I would be transfixed to every move she made, every word she said. This girl had balls, gusto, spunk, an energy you just could not contain. I wanted to be her. I still admire her today.
In 1997, I would spend a lot of my evenings after school and at weekends dressing up as Mel B. I certainly didn’t have her fantastic hair, but I didn’t let that stop me.
I had these huge black ‘Dr Martin’ boots that laced all the way up my calf. I donned a black, skin tight roll neck top, I cut the sleeves off at the shoulder and turned it into a tank vest, so it looked more feminine.
A pair of khaki green jeans, I cut off the legs to make them into shorts, the hem came up to the top of my thighs. I’d then part my hair into tiny bunches with elastic bands and put the then blue, fourty pence a jar, ‘Wet Look Hair Gel’ on my hair and spike up the bunches. I looked more like a member of ‘The Prodigy’ than I did The Spice Girls, but to me I was a ‘Spice Boy’.
I’d grab my karaoke microphone and blare their music for hours and hours. Dance in front of the mirror, learn their routines. Run through the same songs over and over and over. I knew the parts for each girl and I could easily switch my performance to each of them at the snap of the fingers and a pout of the lips. Little did I know this was teaching me the subtle art of being a charmeleon, a skill I would utilise in the 20 years that followed.
My obsession with The Spice Girls grew. Every magazine they were featured in, I bought it. Every poster I could find, I hung it up. Every tiny piece of memorabilia, I collected it. I didn’t receive enough pocket money to buy all their official merchandise, by god there was a lot of it, my whole bedroom was plastered with their five faces, but whatever pocket money I did have, it was spent on them.
Pop magazines and kids TV programmes of the 90’s were in abundance, most do not exist anymore. Smash Hits Magazine, Top of The Pops, Live and Kicking, SM:TV with Ant & Dec. The girls on a weekly basis would feature in and on all of them.
They were so huge that you could not escape them. They were sponsored by Pepsi cola, Chupa Cubs lollipops, Polaroid cameras, Impulse body spray, Walkers crips, Tesco, Cadburys. Every big brand wanted them. The girls released a limited edition single, sponsored by Pepsi, called ‘Step to Me’, the only way you could get your hands on a copy was by collecting twenty five blue ring pulls on the 330ml cans of Pepsi. Yes I still have my copy.
If you didn’t like the Spice, it was tough, you would still have to endure them on your TV, Newspaper, Magazine and even national news headlines. They even launched a national TV Channel, Channel 5.
Here is my Instagram post from yesterday. This is one of my most treasured possessions . It brings back memories of being happy. I smile when I look at it. It’s sad and poignant that this is the only photo album I own. I have very little pictures of me from around this time, simply because of the fact none were ever taken. If my memory serves me right, we used to pay £1 for a pack of 6 photographs to place into this Spice Photo Album.
Their music was escapism for me. I would escape into ‘Spice World’ and be happy, be joyful, be me, be loud, be proud, stand up for myself (in my head at least), I could achieve anything with these 5 girls. They portray such positive messages that only now as a fully fledged adult I can really appreciate them.
‘Happiness is just a state of mind’ – Somethin’ Kinda Funny, Spice 1996.
‘Never give up on the good times’ – Never Give Up On The Good Times, Spice World 1997.
‘All you need is positivity’ – Spice Up Your Life, Spice World 1997.
‘Gotta be bold, bold and oh so strong’ – Love Thing, Spice 1996.
‘I need somebody with a human touch’ – Stop, Spice World 1997.
‘Trust it, use it, prove it, groove it’ – Who Do You Think You Are, Spice 1996.
‘Move over yeah, don’t do it over, ‘Cause it’s over yeah, yeah, yeah (Don’t do it over), Generation next.’ – Move Over, Spice World 1997.
‘Friendship never ends’ – Wannabe. Spice 1996.
It is no surprise that these five girls have achieved everything they have achieved, and then some. I really hope they spread these positive messages to the next generation of Spice Fans. I hope it is reciprocated in the same way I absorbed it. #GIRLPOWER
Now, I’m going to need to cut short. It is 9:50am on Saturday 10th November 2018 and the Spice Girls are releasing the tickets to their #SpiceWorld2019 UK Tour, I need to go and make sure that all my devices are charged and in the queue ready to purchase, If i’m lucky enough to get them that is. I may be a bit Scary Spice if I don’t get tickets. Ha ha.
There is a part 2 coming, the day our form in school had control over the morning assembly, where we performed a ‘Stars In Your Eyes’ skit for the whole school.
Thank you for reading and until next time 🙏
Artwork created by the incredibly talented – https://www.instagram.com/misspaigechristine/