Spice Girls

I vaguely remember one day at recess–probably in grade two, around 1996/1997–that someone brought to school the liner notes for a cassette tape. There were pictures of each of the band members standing in front of different coloured solid backgrounds. In particular, I remember one girl standing in front of a green background wearing a red outfit with like silver swirls. I didn’t know what this cassette was, and I don’t think it was even being shown to me in particular, but I remembered it. I believe these were the liner notes to Spice.

I don’t at all recall how or when I decided I liked the Spice Girls. I didn’t listen to the radio or any other bands really, and I don’t recall any of my friends telling me to listen to them. You know, I did watch Much Music. I can remember always watching the Fromage specials on New Years Eve. Fromage ’98 sticks in my head in particular as one I probably watched. And Pop-Up Video, I watched that. I guess I must have seen their videos on Much Music and decided I liked them.

Favourites

The order for me was always:

  1. Emma
  2. Geri
  3. Victoria
  4. Mel C.
  5. Mel B.

I liked Emma because she was blonde and had pigtails and she was the youngest, and I was always the youngest in my class. When I was little, I just always liked people who were blonde.

Clothes

I wore baby blue nail polish because Emma wore baby blue nail polish. I desperately wanted a baby doll dress, whatever that was. I had this sporty looking shirt because it looked like something Sporty would wear. I had a big oversized Spice Girls t-shirt that I mostly just wore in the pool because it was too big.

I had the white sneaker platforms shoes. I made my parents look EVERYWHERE for them. I think we got them at Factory Shoe. I wish I still had them.

My mom made me a Spice Girls shirt with the SPICE logo from the first album on it using a t-shirt transfer. The shirt was a nice baby blue colour. One day in grade four or five, I wanted to wear that shirt to school, but I didn’t much like the Spice Girls any more, so I turned it inside out. In drama class, some girls laughed at me and told me it was inside out. I handled it cool, and I was just like “I know“, but I was upset. I never purposely wore clothes inside out again.

Banned

I moved to a new house during grade three. I was certainly very into the Spice Girls in grade three, because I remember my third grade teacher hated them. She banned all Spice Girls things from the classroom. I still had a Spice Girls backpack though, so I wasn’t sure if that was banned or not, since I didn’t bring it in the classroom, but I know I worried it would be taken away.

Merchandise

My one wall was covered with pictures of the Spice Girls ripped from magazines. I still have most of them somewhere.

I bought Spice Girls gum and lollipops from the corner store. I wonder if there are still Spice Girls stickers in school lockers anywhere.

I had all the Spice Girls On Tour Barbies, plus the original Emma and Geri, though my original Geri’s Union Jack dress went missing.

I collected Spice Girls photos in the official Spice Girl photo album. I can remember my dad buying me packs of photos when I was good.

My diary was a Spice Girls diary (that I later covered with stickers when the Spice Girls were no longer popular).

I had the Spice Girls authorized biography, and I took off the jacket and painted the plain white cover blue and purple because of some make-believe game I was playing. I ruined it and I still feel like a jerk about that, because it was a nice book.

My dad bought me Spice Girls beanie babies for Christmas one year, but he couldn’t get the Geri one, since she had just quit.

I had a Spice Girls microphone and a Spice Girls toy phone.

Music

I’m pretty sure I bought the first cassette at like a Wal-mart. I was so upset when my family got a new car and it had a CD player and no cassette player. I had just bought the Spice World cassette too!

My favourite song was always “2 Become 1”. I don’t like it at all now because it’s slow, and it’s about safe sex, which is lame. “Stop” was my favourite song from Spice World. Nowadays, I still like “Stop”, but also “Say You’ll Be There”, “Too Much”, “Goodbye”, and “Do It”.

The Spice Girls are one of the few bands I can stand listening to their whole album in one sitting; I usually prefer shuffle mode.

Spice Girls lookalike contest

I entered a Spice Girls lookalike contest probably in the summer after grade three. I dressed up as Emma. I had pigtails and a stuffed teddy bear and the platform shoes. I think they had to make two different groups of Emmas because there were so many of us. There was only one girl dressed up as Mel B., so she sang with our group. I believe we did “Stop” (which I think every group did, so we could all show off the dance moves) and “Spice Up Your Life”. I didn’t win, and I cried and cried. My mom told me the winners were all like the kids of the judges or their friends’ kids. I don’t know if she was telling the truth or just trying to make me feel better. I’ve been so jaded ever since then.

Videos

I remember taping a Spice Girls marathon on Much Music. It was probably when they came to Toronto. In particular, I remember An Audience with the Spice Girls and Live at Wembley. My handy dandy diary tells me there was also Live in Istanbul, Miami Spice, and Intimate and Interactive.

The movie

I went to see Spice World in the theatre with my dad.

When the movie came out on VHS, I think my dad had made up some excuse why we wouldn’t be able to buy it until the week after it came out. But when I came home for lunch on the day the video was released, he had bought it for me. I was so happy. I was confused when they got to the part where they were singing “Leader of the Gang” and the guy in the sparkly suit wasn’t there; I was sure there was a guy there when I saw it in theatres.

Websites

My very first website was a Spice Girls website: Jenn’s Spicey Page. It was made in Microsoft FrontPage using one of the premade themes–Saturday TV Toons, I believe it was called. I typed up articles from my magazines and posted them on the site. All the pictures were hotlinked from other people’s websites.

I often visited ATSGLITW (All the Spice Girls Links in the World). I pronounced it alts-wog in my head. I think it was run by a guy named Patrick. My website was listed on there.

I was a Spice Cadet on the official Spice Girls website. My nickname was Junk Food Spice. I played Spice Invaders on that site for far too long.

I loved All Spice, which was a website about the Spice Girls and All Saints, though I didn’t know who they were. I loved playing Spice Brawl and all the other Shockwave games they had on the site.

Make believe

I always played Spice Girls with Dunya and Salam. I was probably always Emma. We dressed up in my clothes and pretended my room was the Spice Bus. We probably made my brother be Clifford, even though he didn’t know he was playing.

Birthday

For one of my birthday parties, my mom made a cake that had all of the Spice Girls’ names and nicknames on the sides of the cake. Everyone fought over who would get which piece.

I went to Kristen S.’s birthday party, and she got a Spice Girls puzzle I had never seen before, I think of the girls on a merry-go-round.

Geri quits

I remember reading in a magazine about Geri and Mel B. having a “row”. For years, I pictured the Spice Girls break-up happening on a rowboat.

I was sad when Geri left. I think I came downstairs before school one day, and my mom told me. I was sad that I wouldn’t get to see them in concert. My dad told me–I remember it clearly:

Good bands always get back together.

My dad

And for many years, I was disappointed that he was wrong, and maybe a little angry that he was a liar. But what do you know? My dad was right, like he always is. I didn’t see them when they came to Toronto; I feel like I saw another concert one of those nights. I’d definitely go see them now if they ever came back again.