Look out! There maybe a Spices Girls musical in the future! There are not many details yet, except that it is tentatively titled “Viva Forever.” I am very intrigued about this idea.
I was waaaaay into the Spice Girls in highschool. I even sang with my other girlfriends in our highschool’s talent show. We sang “Two Become One.” I was “Baby Spice.” Ohhhh, now I get that song! Oo, we were edgy! But I had their album, posters, the movie, dressed up like “Scary Spice” for Halloween. I was sooooooo into it.
Now, just as many people are divided on whether The Spice Girls were positive role models for women and girls, as much as people debate if Madonna was/is or Lady Gaga. Granted, they are huge pop sensation, I think the biggest thing from Britain since the Beatles if I am correct. They dressed in crazy, glittery, animal printed outfits, sang about friendship and loving your mama, and looked like they had a blast doing it. Sure, their “Girl Power!” motto was a watered down version of the empowerment that started with Riot Grrrl. By the late 90s, strong, independent women were the “in” thing, and marketers and trendsters used it for all that it was worth. But I don’t think it’s fair to automatically dismiss them because some jerks in R&D figured out they could sell back women’s awesomeness and power via products. It’s like the Sleater-Kinney song “# 1 Must Have”, where the song lyrics go:
“But they took our ideas to their marketing stars
and now I’m spending all my days at girlpower.com
Trying to buy back a little piece of me”
The Spice Girls are rather tame when you compare them to current “Girl Groups” like the Pussycat Dolls. Even so, I think the Spice Girls were positive, and I’ll tell ya why.
1) They were sexy, fun, but I do not think “sexed” up. They were confident in their clothing and if you look at how they portray themselves in their videos and on stage, it is about sisterhood and letting go, not playing it up for the “male gaze.”
2) Their songs were about things that many girls my age at the time could relate to: not giving up yourself for a man, staying true to your friends, loving your family, hope, and being able to have fun without worrying about what other people thought.
3) Most importantly, the girls wrote their own material and dance routines. What more do you want? Seriously.
Sure, I know they are not like the Riot Grrrls, but not every artist is. I think they had their own flair and that is why I love them, and my feminist, @ss kicking Bikini Kill. I know there are problematic issues with much of mainstream music an how women are portrayed in it. But, I also think that we sometimes judge female artists so harshly, and to such a high standard, that not even Gloria Steinem screaming into a microphone, smashing a pink vagina shaped guitar, while burning her bra is enough to convince some people that female artists are not just tools. I love the fact that we can have such a variety of female musicians and styles that can touch and influence people in so many ways. We need to celebrate this diversity! As they say, “Spice Up Your Life!”
This one makes me cry every time: I love my mom!
New Book! Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music by Marisa Meltzer. This book about women in music focuses on the 90s and everything from Riot Grrrl to the Spice Girls. It is available for pre-order now and will be available February 2, 2010.
Product description from Amazon.com: “In the early nineties, riot grrrl exploded onto the underground music scene, inspiring girls to pick up an instrument, create fanzines, and become politically active. Rejecting both traditional gender roles and their parents’ brand of feminism, riot grrrls celebrated and deconstructed femininity. The media went into a titillated frenzy covering followers who wrote “slut” on their bodies, wore frilly dresses with combat boots, and talked openly about sexual politics.
The movement’s message of “revolution girl-style now” soon filtered into the mainstream as “girl power,” popularized by the Spice Girls and transformed into merchandising gold as shrunken T-shirts, lip glosses, and posable dolls. Though many criticized girl power as at best frivolous and at worst soulless and hypersexualized, Marisa Meltzer argues that it paved the way for today’s generation of confident girls who are playing instruments and joining bands in record numbers.”
I pre-ordered mine! I’ll give you my review after I have read it. I may start a new posting segment highlighting women in music books for those who just can’t get enough. We’ll see!