The Spice Girls. Insanely popular in the 90s. ‘Girl power’ etc etc.
I was still growing up when the Spice Girls burst onto the scene. And goodness, there was enough going on to freak parents out.
Those catchy, catchy songs with lyrics that you’d really rather not hear your child singing along to:
‘If you wanna be my lover…’ (Wannabe)
‘Are you as a good as I remember baby?…’Cause tonight, is the night, that two become one…’ (2 Become 1)
‘Strip you down don’t need to care, lights are low exposed and bare…’ (Naked)
There were the crotch-baring outfits – anyone remember Ginger’s Union Jack dress?
But the one thing I found consistently and repeatedly uncomfortable, even as a teenager, was – Baby Spice.
Not the singer herself, but the character. Baby Spice. Let’s remind ourselves what this character looked like.
Pigtails. Knee socks. Cutesy pose. Even a lollipop occasionally. If this isn’t playing into a paedophile’s dream I don’t know what is.
Now some adults might be into the grown-woman-dressing-as-a-child thing. Keep it in the bedroom (or some other adults-only space) and that’s not my problem.
But a large part of the Spice Girl’s fanbase was…..pre-teen girls. Pre-teen girls who were being fed the idea that ‘little girl’ and ‘baby’ somehow equalled ‘sexy’.
Little girls are not sexy. They are children. They deserve not to be sexualized in this way.
You might think those kids merrily singing along their CDs (back in the pre-iPod days!) didn’t notice. You might think it would have gone right over their heads. But children take in these messages, even subconsciously.
And for some, like myself, consciously.
Original photo from this link.