What's with Spice Power ?

What is with the Spice Girls? Cutesy little Brit Pop Sensations - girly girl power, woo hoo. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate them and I don't dislike their little girl power "philosophy", it just strikes me as a little silly... coming from them.

Girl Power, according to the Spices, seems to be the idea that little girls can be anything they want... as long as they wear the "right" (aka "Spicy") clothes, listen to the "right" music (Spice Girls, of course), and are as sexy as possible. Rah Rah girls! There's freedom for ya. Now we're not just being stereotyped by men - we have to shop the Spice Racks to be considered "hip" by other girls. It seems the Spices think they are diverse because they have a token black Spice and varied hair colors. Hmm. To me, diversity is a much-overused term and often misused. True diversity is not limited to race. It means variety in all areas of existence, from dress to politics to sexiness level to... every aspect of life. Dress-alike talk-alike girls are not my idea of a particularly diverse bunch. No matter what they say in their songs, people follow examples. That's a big problem with people - much of the time they'll hear a logical- sounding idea and, without fully considering its implications, will follow it like sheep. (i'm not saying i'm any better, although at least i recognize that it's a problem and i try to do something about it.) Don't do it, kids! God gave you a brain so you could use it. The human mind is not a vestigial organ.

If Girl Power means I (being a girl) am allowed to dress sexy if i like, why can't i dress NOT sexy if i so choose? Why is there a rigorous Spicy dress code in which shirts are required to show cleavage and skirts must be made of as little cloth as possible without showing undies? Can't Spice Power-ful Girls wear pants? Or skirts in which they can bend over without embarrassment? Of course, there's nothing wrong with dressing Spicy, if that's your thing, but it seems like there are enough examples around us to convince a girl she has to make herself attractive to the hombres (that's men for you gringos) without the Spice Mafia reinforcing it (breaking our mental kneecaps, as it were). It seems that what I'm hearing is that to "be" anything - a pop music sensation, for example - a girl has to put out. Well, fuck that.

My view of diversity (to return to an earlier thought-branch) - and my peevedness at the Spicies' lack thereof - probably stems from my having gone to a private girls' school for five years where everyone was either homogenously bland or "out". Needless to say, I was the one and only lonely person on the "out" side of the line. After coming to my senses and switching to a slightly less homogenous high school (it seemed amazingly diverse to my sheltered eyes) and making some friends, it really hit me that a diverse environment is much healthier for growth of mind and spirit than homogenous-ness (homogenaity? sameness. you get my drift.) and people who don't accept others for who they are don't know what they're missing out on. My friends are a pretty diverse bunch. If they were Spices, they'd probably be Butch Spices, Punk Spices, Gay/Lesbian/Bi Spices, Hacker Spices, Nerd Spices, Goth Spices... the list goes on. Most of them fit more than one category... or defy categorization altogether. We've got our own Posh and Sporty types, too. And we didn't need any "popular" people - be they private school snobs or mini-skirted singers - to tell us how to dress and act. Life is much more fun if you think for yourself and don't limit your options.

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ranting by sparky ( kumquat37@hotmail.com )
written 02/03/98