Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Girls on film

Lizzy Dening's attempt to acclaim Spice World as a feminist film is admittedly bold, and she does make some valid points about the Bechdel test and the absence of a romance plotline. However, her insistence that the Spice Girls "overthrew their creators" is wide of the mark, especially when she then bizarrely seems to confuse fact and fiction by citing episodes from the film to support her case. In truth, the puppeteers were always in control behind the scenes.

I've written before in dismissive terms about the Spice Girls' alleged feminism and particularly Geri Halliwell's cringeworthy claim that Maggie Thatcher "was the first Spice Girl, the pioneer of our ideology". For me, there seems little doubt that "girl power" was at root about Simon Fuller and his associates getting their paws on the pre-teen pound rather than anything to do with awareness and equality.

But, I have to concede, Dening is nevertheless right in arguing that this cynicism didn't register with or impact on the experience of young fans like herself and Kate Nash. As frivolous as the film and the Spice Girls' whole career were, if they served as an introduction to female empowerment, however facile, then that should be acknowledged.

(Thanks to David for the link.)

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