Between their life-affirming Olympic performance and rumors of a reunion tour, The Spice Girls have been a resurgent force in pop culture as of late. And now, de facto group leader Mel B. (a.k.a. Scary Spice) is talking about doing a reunion tour with or without their most famous member. Some people might think this is a mean thing to do, but I think it’s supremely practical. You see, Mel B. knows what a lot of people have yet to catch onto, namely that Victoria Beckham is not simply “too busy” with her fashion career and motherhood to be a Spice Girl. She is literally not allowed to join the group full-time again, or the fashion world will drop her from their Rolodexes faster than you can say “Kim Kardashian.”
Here’s the thing: the fashion world rewards loyalty. If you had any kind of high profile career before fashion, you’d better be twice as committed to fashion as a normal fashion person. It’s like evangelical Christianity. As outlined in New York Magazine‘s new cover story on Kim Kardashian, the only way the Olsen twins were able to make the jump from child stars to respectable fashion designers was that “they are very hardworking and hands-on; they’re there working in their studio; they don’t do anything else.” Furthermore, they had the added benefit of being able to draw a clean line between childhood and adulthood; acting was something their parents chose for them, fashion was something they chose for themselves. For an adult pop star like Victoria Beckham to make that jump is actually pretty remarkable. Nobody, besides maybe Gwen Stefani, has been able to reproduce it.
You might think Victoria Beckham has a few things on Kim Kardashian, and you’d be right. She’s a size 0, she doesn’t smile that much, and she hasn’t had any obvious plastic surgery. (Keyword: obvious.) You will never see her on a reality TV show that is not Project Runway, or scrambling to get the most money possible for photos of her latest bowel movement. But in the nasty, hungry, exclusive eyes of the fashion world, Victoria Beckham is hardly untouchable. She could very well take off a few months to go on tour with the Spice Girls, only to find out she has no career to return to.
Not to mention, Victoria Beckham was never that great at being a Spice Girl to begin with. She’s always been the weakest link in their live performance:
Lackluster performances are okay for young people who are still figuring out what they’re good at, but not for celebrities trying to maintain a certain image. Not to mention, if Posh did give it her all, she’d also be mocked, because the kind of bubbly enthusiasm one associates with the Spice Girls is quite undignified for a dour fashion person such as herself. Gwen Stefani can get away with it because she’s integrated her music thoroughly with her fashion brand; Victoria Beckham didn’t even try to.
“But it won’t be the same without Posh Spice!” you say. To which I say: won’t it? Posh Spice was never the best Spice Girl, and if she was your favorite, you probably don’t like the Spice Girls anymore, anyway. Baby, Sexy, Scary and Sporty will do just fine without her, and if you don’t believe me, let’s talk again after the fabulous foursome invade America and blow your mind with their inimitable brand of zig-a-zig-ah. I dare you to watch their crazy-good performances and say they’re suffering from the loss of a skinny brunette in drab colors, standing in the corner and moving around very little. Mel B. knows this, Victoria knows this, and you know it in your heart of hearts, too.