Saturday, 5 January 2008

Bands Who Lied To Us All

No 1: The Spice Girls

When the Spice Girls, those five oddly dressed probable transsexuals from all across the UK were first forced to like each other by super-manager Simon Fuller, one of the key aspects of their attitude was female empowerment. Between making twee pop songs that sounded more inspiring than they actually were, the girls regularly appeared in magazines, spouting the immortal line “Girl Power!” The Spice Girls, you see, weren’t like the other girl bands of the time. They were here for one thing and one thing only – to liberate women from the oppressive suffrage that men had put upon them. Over the course of their career, which included several albums and a feature film, the girls established separate personas that proved to us all that women aren’t interchangeable (something later ruined by the Sugababes – thanks a lot, girls) and have their own individual characteristics.

Girls who could play sport had previously been denounced as “lesbians”, but now, thanks to Sporty Spice, found a new confidence in their ability to engage in physical activities. Girls could now act how they felt inside, whether that meant indulging their fashionista (Posh Spice) or eating a whole load of lollypops and thinking about boys (Baby Spice) or… being ginger (hey, coming out as a ginger takes guts, people). And Scary Spice…yeah. The principles that the band sold to us were that women were as strong and powerful as men – heck, they were stronger and powerfuller – and that from now on, you’d better not mess with these girls, because they’ll kick the balls off you.

But clearly, the girls didn’t believe in Girl Power half as much as they’d have us believe. Just take a look at the retarded names they’ve given their daughters; Geri called her’s Bluebell Madonna, Phoenix Chi and Angel Iris Murphy are the horrific titles that Mel B’s kids were given, and Emma named hers Beau Lee. Those poor, poor little. How can you be dynamic and individual if you have such a pathetic name? Mel C and Victoria get off scot-free here, because they’ve not had any daughters, which is probably a blessing for the unborn sproglets.

But on top of this, factor in the thought that only Mel C and Emma have had long-term relationships that have lasted, more or less. Scary and Ginger Spices have been used horrifically by men, and here it is mandated that I make reference to Eddie Murphy. Yes, one of them actually tried to have a relationship with Eddie Murphy, even though all of Hollywood – no, the World – knows that the dude is a weirdo. Scary Spice was the culprit, who got pregnant and then got dumped by the man, and was left to lick her wounds in private. Wait, did I say in private? I meant to say on TV and in the papers. Power to the masses!

And their careers, once they went solo – I’ll say little of the Mels, because they went straight down. Geri had a career for a while, going for a much more extreme Girl Power image, until she, too, was reduced to wearing bikinis in her videos. In her last video, she played the role of a woman who turns into a cat and drinks milk held out by a man, and you can actually hear the crying of Germaine Greer as she does so. Then Emma, who has, in my opinion, the most respectable career outside of the band, but a lot of this was kinda off the back of how short the shirts she wore were. But anywho, let’s move onto Victoria, because that’s the most fun. She is now famous for being a wife. That’s correct folks, the woman who was 1/5 of the most feminist creation of the 90’s, being defined by her husband. Her solo career hit an early stumbling block in that she can’t actually sing, and for the past five years or so she has been famous more for being “Posh and Becks” than for being “Posh”.

So really, the band lied to us, didn’t they? They aren’t the five feminists of the Apocalypse, riding fiery chariots across the sky (watch now as this becomes a gimmick in their stage show) and spreading their wrath out on the worthlessness of men. In many ways, they’ve somehow managed to prove that men are the greater sex, in a very twisted sense. Obviously both sexes are just about equal, but The Spice Girls have done more to damage Girl Power than any other band. At least one of All Saints managed to tame Liam Gallagher – now THAT is a feat.

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