"There's been tears along the way,
but we're still the best of friends;
Never needed to pretend,
'Cause real friendship never ends."
Well, these words from Spice Girls' song, 'Right Back At Ya' pretty much sums up all our feelings for them. Unarguably the biggest girl band ever, Spice Girls, are all set to reunite for a six stadium tour in the UK this June, and the tickets for the tour will be available for purchase from 10 November, 2018 onwards.
The news of their reunion tour has already stirred Twitter discussions and garnered media attention, with constant reminders and footnotes that say that Victoria Beckham has decided to sit this one out. It is just Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Geri Horner, and Melanie Chisholm who will be doing the touring #Viva4ever.
This announcement, of course, comes loaded with 90's nostalgia. Floating images of their zany fashion choices and fragments of their song's lyrics come swimming back to mind only to make us realise that it has been 18 years since the band has unofficially called it quits, and yet little has truly changed in the pop circuit.
The new girl bands -- Fifth Harmony or Little Mix -- are still only 'trying' to do what Spice Girls did in the 90's and playing by the rules that they invented. Remember the lyrics from Spice Girls song, 'something kinda funny' that said, 'Play my game, or get left out.' Well, seems like they knew what they were talking about. When Spice Girls debuted in British pop, with their sensationally hit single, 'Wannabe' for the first time in pop history, we got a girl band, where all band members were equal and had unique personalities. They didn't go homogenizing themselves like their male counterparts -- Backstreet Boys and Boyzone -- who wore the same clothes, did the same choreographed dance moves, and sometimes unfortunately even sounded similar (although, perhaps not intentionally).
Each Spice Girl embraced her own our personality, her own unique sense of style and music, telling us (who were their young fans back then) that there is strength in uniqueness and individuality, we did not have to mould ourselves to any particular socially accepted stereotype.
Perhaps that is what makes Spice Girls iconic as well as relevant today. You cannot relegate them to the past, and call them nostalgia. In their brazen, in-your-face ways, they laid down the tenants for 'Girl Power' which current crop of pop artists are only mindlessly rehashing ad infinitum. Take any song on girl power today, Little Mix's Power, or Fifth Harmony's Worth it, and compare their lyrics to Spice Girls' 'Do It'
"I will not be told, Keep your mouth shut,
keep your legs shut;
Go back in your place;
blameless, shameless, damsel in disgrace"
These were such powerful lines during the 90's when victim shaming was rampant and women were constantly told what to do by society. But then again, aren't these lines relevant even today? Especially in the wake of movements such as #MeToo and # TimesUp? I think they are. What Spice Girls also managed to do is to reach out to a wide young audience with such powerful messages on feminism through their music. Young girls growing up in different corners of the world heard the word "Girl Power" for the first time, thanks to Spice Girls. For all those girls growing up watching rom-coms where the 'good' and 'bad' stereotypes of women fought it out to get their 'prince charming' Spice Girls told them the value of female friendships, and how they are far more important than romantic love.
They were also wildly popular and therefore, had an immense influence on how young girls formed their opinions. They, in fact, inspired many female pop icons of today -- from Adele to Katy Perry -- with their music and words.
Things, however, unravelled sooner than the fans would have liked, as is always the case. It's surprising how all band break-ups always follow such text-book methods. It's almost as if they are given a manual for it, on their way to fame. First, one band member's (Horner) health began to deteriorate and she wanted to quit and the other four continued to go on the tour, then came a short hiatus and then, finally in 2000 a long indefinite one, where each band member expressed their wish to begin their solo careers. Again, fans across the world were heartbroken to see the Spice Girls split.
Not to say that there haven't been hopes of reunion in past. Rumours of the band reuniting did round for years, and the bandmates reunited as well in 2007 for a world tour and then during 2012 Olympics to perform for one last time.
In 2019 June, when Spice Girls take the stage (again), Posh aka Victoria Beckham will not be there, and while it's sad, it is truly okay. In the last 18 years, the Spice Girls' legacy of being the fierce, fun and outspoken girl band has somehow managed to surpass Spice Girls themselves and their personal issues. While Spice Girls still have the ownership of their the brand endorsements, tours, and any new music they made, their legacy is as much ours (i.e. fans) as it is their's and we have cherished it as a part of our childhood and kept it alive as lessons we have learnt like " All You Need Is Positivity" and "No Matter What You Must Go On."
For those millennials who were born too late to enjoy the Spice World and share their emotional rollercoaster journey, this is one band you should perhaps listen. Here's a lyrics from their song, to convince you why:
We're the Spice Girls, Yes Indeed.
Just girl power is all we need.
We know how we got this far.
Strength and courage and a wonderbra!
Do they not sound interesting already?
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