Wannabe Is 20! Our Favourite Spice Girls Memories

spice girls

by Katie Rosseinsky |
Published on

Do you really, really really wanna feel absolutely ancient?

It's 20 years since the Spice Girls released girl power anthemn 'Wannabe,' exploding into the popular consciousness on a wave of platform boots, instantly recognisable outfits and serious attitude.

It's no exaggeration to say that Sporty, Posh, Ginger, Scary and Baby's arrival marked a tide change in British pop culture - and British playgrounds. Are you really a child of the Nineties if you didn't fill hours endlessly debating which Spice best reflected your fledgling personality, or spend rainy afternoons recreating the routines from the videos?

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There were highs, there were lows (Geri, we've still not entirely forgiven you), there was a critically panned jukebox musical - but it's safe to say that no girl band since has captivated the pre-teen imagination in quite the same way (sorry, Atomic Kitten).

To celebrate two decades of girl power, the Grazia Daily team have shared their favourite Spice Girl memories - from a close encounter with Geri Halliwell to a serious commitment to Spice branded stationery (via one 'Pob' inspired haircut)...

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Jadie Troy-Pryde

The Spice Girls were my entire world when I was seven. I even collected ring pulls from Pepsi cans so that I could send off for the exclusive ‘Step To Me’ CD. The dedication to girl power was real.

On Christmas Eve in 1997, I was in Harrods with my family upholding an annual tradition of visiting their incredible Santa’s Grotto. After queuing for hours to see Father Christmas and then shuffling through to the till to collect my photograph, I looked at the group in front and there she was.

Geri. My favourite Spice Girl in actual real life, mere metres away.

I shoved my tiny sister out of the way (sorry, Tamlee) and ran over, eyeing up her purple ‘Barbie is a slag’ t-shirt and wondering what it meant. She scribbled an autograph in my miniature version of The Nut Cracker and my life was complete.

When I got home later that evening, I turned on the TV to see that the Spice Girls had a Christmas Special on Top Of The Pops. I sat there watching it, adrenaline pumping, waiting for Geri to mention our life-changing encounter.

Unsurprisingly, she didn’t.

Alice Farmiloe

My love affair with the Spice Girls began in the form of my first album purchase aged 7, a shocking 20 years ago. The 10 songs that made up the iconic, Spice, were on constant repeat on my Sony portable stereo. Stand out tracks included all the hits; Say You’ll Be There, 2 Become 1, Wannabe and the slightly less mainstream choice, Mama.

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Spice Girls album

My sisters and I endlessly debated which Spice Girl we were, my love of Adidas tracksuits (it was the 90s), instantly meant that I was Sporty, with my youngest sister channelling Baby and the other taking the Scary crown (sorry Posh & Ginger).

The real highlight was studying the album cover repeatedly, learning song lyrics by heart and then carefully filling out the form to purchase an item of infamous Spice merchandise. A few weeks later, after the cheque and form had been sent off in the post, I received my very own Spice ring-binder. I proudly strode around the corridors of primary school with it for years to follow.

Safe to say, the Spice Girls really did Spice up my 7 year old life.

Katie Rosseinsky

I have a confession to make.

As a little girl, I was never the biggest Spice Girls fan - a gap in my cultural upbringing that I’ve always blamed on being the oldest child. My biggest musical memory of 1996 isn’t garbling the lyrics to ‘Say You’ll Be There;’ it’s feeling utterly mortified as my dad drove around with the windows down, singing along to The Lightning Seeds’ ‘Three Lions’ football anthem (it was the summer of the Euros).

Of course, I enjoyed the music (I had ears, and a healthy tolerance for sugary pop) but in quite a passive way. Instead, I was mainly intrigued by the clothes – the towering Buffalo boots that were worlds away from my Clarks clodhoppers, Scary’s leopard print and Victoria’s little Gucci dress that wasn’t actually a little Gucci dress. My first proper 'disco' dress was a black shift in a weird velvety fabric - a high street homage to Posh that was the start of an enduring love of VB. I even bought (and still own) her mid-Noughties style tome That Extra Half An Inch, shot at the peak of her WAG power.

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Thanks to student nights and repeat viewings of Spiceworld (God bless Netflix), I've since become a born again Spice Girls fan. Better fashionably late than never (as I'm sure Victoria would probably say).

Emma Firth

Baby Spice was the ultimate icon for me. When I was around 5 or 6 I went through I phase of wanting to be her - and the fact that my name is actually Emma and I have blonde hair was an added bonus. I pestered my mum to buy me a white mini dress, and thankfully she gave in.

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I wore it everyday for one whole summer (with two Emma B-style 'bunchies', naturally). I think my parents thought I'd move on to another girl band obsession but then Spice World became available to rent in my local SPAR, and there was nothing they could really do about it. Oh, to be on that tour bus...

Danielle Fowler

One of my most unforgettable Spice Girls memories didn’t occur in the nineties but the noughties (and has haunted my childhood ever since). After ‘being’ Posh Spice whenever my friends and I would recreate classic music video scenes to our cassette player, I made the rather rash decision to take my role a little further. I adopted the infamous Wag-esque bob.

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It imitated the very shape, cut and ‘cone’ like structure of VB’s ‘Pob’ much to the amusement of close friends and family. But one person in particular thrived upon the look, my school PE teacher.

After not bothering to learn my name throughout my school years (it ranged from Gabrielle to Lauren), the infamous bob gave her the perfect chance to give me a nickname - Posh. Though looking back it was a pretty appropriate name for her to scream across the school field when I wasn’t exactly cracking a smile i.e. refusing to participate in anything sports-related. It’s all about faking it, Posh’s mic was turned off after all…

READ MORE: How The Spice Girls Really Got Their Names

READ MORE: Here's EVERY Cameo In Spice World: The Movie

READ MORE: Adele's Spice Girls Tribute Gives Us Major Nineties Nostalgia

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