How the Spice Girls taught me boys could like girls’ things

How the Spice Girls taught me boys could like girls’ things

The Guardian

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They behaved like children and were rampantly consumerist – but the Spice Girls were DayGlo ambassadors for writing your own rules in life

In Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, the titular character says, “Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life.” It could have been the Spice Girls’ mission statement. I was nine when I discovered the group, and a boy (though the verdict at school was very much out). I’ve been devoted ever since. They were five miniskirted Miss Jean Brodies, and they educated me in how to be a fan.

Before Wannabe, my idols were my mum and Princess Diana, by virtue of owning a tiara. Music belonged to the world of grownups and was of little interest compared with dressing my Barbies and eating Skittles, until I happened upon the Spice Girls’ calamitous debut video and became instantly obsessed. Here were five adults who behaved like children – hanging off each other, sticking their tongues out and dissolving into giggles any time an interviewer tried to corral them into answering a question. They were loud, boisterous and irreverent – everything I was told not to be – and did it all while looking like ambassadors from a better, brighter universe where everyone wore giant shoes.

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