Music 5 November 2018 | 14:36

Girl power! Will the Spice Girls reunion live up to feminist expectations?

05 November 2018 14:36

There is a picture of me on my first day of school, all dressed up in my brand-new uniform, swearing gleefully at the camera. I like to consider this to be my first subconscious feminist statement. You see, I was a big Spice Girls fan, and since they had taken to repeatedly flashing the peace sign whilst shouting, ‘GIRL POWER!’, I thought it was only appropriate that I mark my first steps into the world of education by doing the same. The trouble is, I’d got it the wrong way around and, stubborn as I was, could not be told otherwise. So, there I am, immortalised at 4-years-old, with two fingers up to the world.

You can imagine my excitement, then, at the news that the Spice Girls will be reuniting in 2019 – for real this time. Many an untraceable rumour drifting around the Internet has got my hopes up in the past, but real tour dates are being announced today and it’s legit. Baby Spice – okay, fine, Emma Bunton – announced the news on her Heart Radio breakfast show this morning, and Scary (Mel B) let it accidentally slip on Loose Women that tickets will be released on Friday. Posh is anticipated to be absent from the line-up, but with her recent video for British Vogue – in which she poked fun at her popstar days – and her £100 million fashion brand, did anyone really expect otherwise?

‘I’m just so excited. I want it out there. It will be brilliant,’ Bunton told her co-host Jamie Theakston this morning. Me too, but I’m also curious. The last time the band performed together was at the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, and the world is now a very different place. ‘A Spice insider’ apparently told The Sun last night that ‘girl power is back’, but I’m not sure that we needed a Spice Girls reunion to reaffirm that statement.

With the Spice Girls as my OG feminist icons, my mind is whirring at the potential for this tour to be something more powerful than just a cash-grab reunion. Take 2016’s #WhatIReallyReallyWant campaign by The Global Goals, for instance, for which a new music video was made for the band’s debut single to highlight gender inequality across the globe; school girls dance in a classroom as the camera pans to a blackboard that says, ‘quality education for all girls’. The video now has 2 million views and spotlights issues like child marriage in a way that clearly connects with audiences. This is what I really, really want to see from the Spice Girls’ 2019 tour. It might seem like a lot to ask from a pop reunion, but they’ve inspired a generation of feminists before, who’s to say they that can’t do it again? Zig-a-zig-ahs fun to sing along to – and you can be sure that I’ll buy a ticket no matter what – but wouldn’t it be great to have a real reason to gleefully stick two middle fingers up again, all in the name of pop-fuelled girl power?

The #WhatIReallyReallyWant campaign