Ah, The Spice Girls. There’s nothing that gives me the same feeling than when ‘Wannabe’ comes on. It’s like a switch that just makes you go wild, care-free, takes you back to your childhood. One minute you’re standing by the buffet and the next, on the dance floor just like at your school disco. And that will never change. The Spice Girls had that effect, didn’t they? They are rooted in culture, in that generation. There’s something joyous, exciting, addictive about that feeling. It’s an excuse to escape back into your childhood. And that’s not going to change, is it? I don’t think so…
So, there’s a new book all about the Spice Girls by journalist Lauren Bravo, What Would the Spice Girls do?. Here’s the blurb:
The words ‘girl power’ conjure vivid memories of short skirts and platform boots. But it wasn’t just about the look, it was about feminism.
The Spice Girls gave a generation their first glimpse of the power of friendship, of staying true to yourself, of sheer bloody-mindedness. And the girl power generation went on to kick-start a new conversation around gender equality.
We may have grown up asking What Would the Spice Girls Do?, but their particular brand of feminism is as relevant today as it was twenty years ago – we still need that fun and fearlessness, we still need accessible and all-embracing equality… we still need a zig-a-zig-ah.
There’s a lot of reasons why I grabbed a copy of this book. One being that my reading lately has been a bit intense (Milkman and Bridge of Clay) and I needed something a bit more fun and something non-fiction too. Two, I just needed some cheering up and this seemed just like the ticket! And three, well, I really bloody love the Spice Girls. Growing up, my sister always said that she always remembers me dancing in the mirror singing to the Spice Girls. It’s something that she hasn’t let down, ever. I was born in ’97 so a bit out of that generation that grew up with them but I’ve just got this attachment to them all. From the school disco, to even being giddy with excitement when they were at the Olympics. I don’t know what it is, how to describe it but like I said above, there’s just this switch and I’m spicing my life more than Jamie Oliver making a curry, you know? I think everyone has got their own memories related to the Spice Girls. And not just their music but with Posh, Sporty, Scary, Ginger and Baby too. And I think that’s why this book is brilliant.
Another reason why I wanted this book is because I love Lauren’s journalism. She is a great writer and I was excited to see her writing in a book. And about the Spice Girls? Even better. Lauren is a massive fan of the Spice Girls and this shines through this book. She uses the Spice Girls to explore a range of themes: identity, style, friendship, sex, confidence, success and more. But the big and overarching theme is feminism. This book is more aimed at the young women who have grown up with the spice girls. The strap-line of the title is: ‘How The Girl Power Generation Grew Up’ and that’s something that runs throughout the book. Lauren uses the Spice Girls and explores themes and gives an insight of what it was like then but focuses the attention of now. Of how from dancing in your bedroom and singing into your hairbrush in the mirror to now, growing up, in the real world. How the Spice Girls paved the way for ‘girl power’, being who they want to be and not being what society expects women to be.
Scattered through the book, there’s some really hilarious segments between chapters. From how to pose like a Spice Girl, the Spice Girls starter kit, eleven things a ‘zig-a-zig-ah’ might be (hilarious), if the Spice Girls did Pinterest, and loads more that will make you laugh and laugh. But my personal favourite is ‘if the Spice Girls had a group chat’. It’s proper laugh-out-loud and it’s making me laugh now just thinking about it. This book might seem like a ‘Oh! How funny! That’s cute!’ book but it’s more than that. It’s an analysis of pop culture, feminism, gender, sexuality, body image, and of course, the Spice Girls themselves. That’s what I got from this book, the Spice Girls are a phenomenon. They are iconic, rooted in our culture. Just look at the Olympics! Those black cabs! I just rewatched it on YouTube and I’ve got chills. Actual chills. And that’s not going to go anywhere. When I first wrote this review, it was just a few days before the big announcement! The Spice Girls are reuniting for a stadium tour around the UK next year! I can’t imagine what it will be like when the tickets go live… And perhaps, in 2019, that’s what the world needs. Some more spice in our lives. So, why not reminisce about your childhood obsession and read this book before the big tour?
I really enjoyed this book. It’s a great fun read and I think a *perfect* Christmas present. It’s tiny so it will be perfect for a stocking filler and also a secret Santa! But more on that later… Go on, spice up your (or your loved one’s) life!
Have you read this yet? Are you a fan of the Spice Girls? What memories do you associate with the Spice Girls? Who’s your favourite Spice? And are you going to see them on tour? Let me know in the comments!
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