To the Spice Girls,
You were my first love. I’m now 22, and yeah, I was between infancy and early childhood when you were at the height of your fame. But in some ways, I think that’s why you’ve stuck in my mind for so long.
You never forget your first pop-culture icon. I would request endless cassette loops of the “spais ges” from my mum, before I could say much else. I was too young to be critical, my heart was totally open, and in my eyes, you were perfect.
But like everyone who finds themselves hopelessly in love for a lifetime, I have had my heart broken too many times to count. Just as I became sonically aware, you broke up. Almost 10 years later, a plucky pre-teen, you announced a reunion. But alas, tickets ran out in 38 seconds. My brother had clogged up the old PC with The Sims and Age of Empires, and I did not get one.
Despite my best sixth-form efforts to come across as cool and collected in 2012, I got swept up in the brief Cool Britannia resurgence of Olympic Games glory. Seeing all five of you sing ‘Spice Up Your Life’ at the closing ceremony like a group of drunk girls in Tiger Tiger epitomised that great moment. Like a fresh batch of gold medals, you were a little section of culture we could all get behind, both everything we wanted to be and painfully relatable. It wasn’t just me – this was the most tweeted moment of the whole event. Surely, at the height of renewed interest, this was the moment for a second reunion tour. My broadband was ready.
But it didn’t happen. It was like reading a “miss you, come round xoxo” text from the ex who dumped you, then going round and the ex asking you to leave.
I headed to uni and tried to get closure. I sought out new bands and streamed study playlists. I got really, really into Rihanna. But the uni club’s cheesy floor was our favourite haunt, and I always ran into you. I actively requested you. I longed for the resurgence of girl power as women’s rights became the biggest topic of conversation on uni campuses. Just one reunion tour could have united us all. Instead, we got Brexit.
When you teased us with that February reunion, the whole world rightly went mad. Little girls of the ‘90s are now collectively waiting to hear our prayers have been answered – that you’re actually getting back together this time. You’ve done the PR, you’ve done the tip offs, you’ve talked about “new opportunities” – you’ve even told us what you ate at the meeting. The dates seemed as good as booked. SO WHERE ARE THE BLOODY TICKETS?
I don’t want my heart played with anymore, because I can’t get hurt like that again. As GEM proved, 3/5 spices does not a tasty lineup make. Yes Geri, I’ll watch this space a little while longer, but just don’t keep me hanging on.
On International Women’s Day 2018, I make this appeal to you not as an NME journalist, but as the tiny tot who had you on cassette tape. Do this for me. Do this for all the people at school who learnt every Spice Girls dance move. Do this for the millennial uni students who requested Spice Girls on the cheesy floor. Do it for Remoaners and do it for Brexiteers. Mend our broken hearts, and, please, reunite.