Saturday, August 15, 2009
My first Vogue
Back in 1997 I was 12 years old and obsessed with a lil' band called the Spice Girls. For me, no other band existed. I would play their first album, Spice, over and over again and dance to feel-good songs like Say You'll Be There and Wannabe. My cousins and I would bicker over trading cards and posters and I would store precious memorabilia in a binder I treasured.
I'm only remembering this now because when I went up to my cottage last week my cousin burned their music and we spent the whole ride up singing till our throats hurt. It was so much fun that when I got back home I immediately downloaded all their music and I'm listening to them now. It made me think about how much I loved them when I was a young teenager and how great it is that I'm 25 and still love their music.
When I was 12 it would be an understatement to say that I wasn't into fashion. It was jeans and a t-shirt everyday. And even though the Spice Girls were fashion icons (whether that was deserved I leave to you to decide) I never really cared so much for their crazy outfits except for Geri's Union Jack mini-dress.
Then Vogue put the Girls on the cover of their January 1998 issue. As soon as I saw the cover I bought it, even though the idea of Vogue and fashion bored the hell out of me. But who cares about fashion? The Spice Girls were in the magazine!
I don't really remember the interview or the photos inside but I do remember that cover. They looked so different from the outgoing, crazy women I saw so often in photographs and in their videos. They looked....mature. After looking at that issue of Vogue, my perception of the Spice Girls changed and I think a part of me changed as well. They weren't girls; they were intelligent, classy women and it made me want to be like them: opinionated, fashionable and smart.
Thinking about it now I find it surprising that Anna Wintour put a pop group on the cover; I'm not so sure she would do the same today. But it's undeniable that the Spice Girls influenced millions of young girls around the world with their powerful, pro-woman messages. I'm really happy that I grew up listening to their music and I'm thankful that Vogue put real role models on their cover.