So as you might've noticed, we think that Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan's the coolest. We're also weirdly obsessed (and not in a mocking/snarky way) with the Spice Girls. And never did we ever think that these two great loves of ours — representing the highest of highs and, well, the lowest of lows — would ever come together. That day has come at last. Turns out, Robin Givhan shares our love of Spice! Sure, the group is now comprised of, well, 3 single mothers, an anorexic, and that sporty one, but Givhan insists that the Spice Girls were, and still are, great role models for young girls. And by young girls, she means everyone from your 10-year-old niece to, well, the likes of Britney and Lindsay and Paris.
Givhan has clearly taken her time examining the most pressing cultural issue of our age — the significance of Ginger Spice flashing a peace sign and screaming "Girl Power!" at every opportunity during the group's heydey — to determine not only its current resonance, but the source from which it sprang. And that source is apparently Cyndi Lauper. Now bear with us, but according to the Zen of Givhan, if Britney Spears had listened to more Lauper and less Madonna, she could have avoided all those nipple slips and vadge shots and that unfortunate head-shaving incident.
The Spice Girls soared to fame on the Lauper model, giving girls a cool, slightly naughty band they could dream of being a part of rather than merely one to swoon over. "Girl power" wasn't a parent-approved movement. If so, then surely there would have been a "Smart Spice." But the Spice Girls were more palatable than the women who followed the Madonna philosophy, which advocated the power in a half-naked tush. Consider the success of the Pussycat Dolls, who have embraced their inner stripper and the pleasures of slutdom. While the Spice Girls sang, "If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends / Make it last forever, friendship never ends," the Pussycat Dolls purred, "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? / Don't cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?"
As cheesy as they may have been, the Spice Girls taught us that at the end of the day we should always just be ourselves, do our thing, make our own choices. Women: Want to be real rebels? Put some panties on and do things with girls who dress differently than you. After all, why be one of a million barely-clothed Dolls when you could be your own pin-up, vying for your own stardom? You shouldn't skank your way to the middle when you can bitch slap your way to the top.
'Girl Power' Group's Look Gave Voice To Individuality [WaPo]