When you hear the phrase “girl power,” five words should spring to your mind: Scary. Sporty. Ginger. Baby. Posh.
During the Spice Girls’ heyday in the late ‘90s, “girl power” was your mantra, your affirmation, your catchphrase — simply the law of the land for Spice fans everywhere.
But what does girl power actually MEAN, you may wonder? Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. the straight-laced, always impeccably-dressed Posh Spice, offered up the perfect answer this week during a Q&A with Fern Mallis.
First, Beckham confirmed what we’ve always wondered: How close were the girls’ nicknames to their true personalities?
“Posh was given to us by a British teen magazine, but we were already acting like our names,” she revealed. “Mel B really did dress scary, always in leopard print. Emma really was Baby; she always wore pigtails and those bloody awful platform shoes!”
Beckham then went on to reveal her personal definition of the group’s infamous motto.
“I'm still very close to all of those girls. I'm really proud of what I achieved with them,” she said. “We were just five girls who weren't all that great individually, but together, we were pretty great! That's real 'girl power': Be who you are, do what you like and be friends with other girls!”
That simple but powerful explanation is something that the girls have always stood behind. In this throwback vid of the girls taking America by storm, for example, they give a hilarious radio interview where they totally shut down a male caller who asks if “they go to bars and pick up guys and stuff,” and then suggests they “pick up American guys who you can control.”
Mel B, a.k.a. Scary Spice, fires back: “This is about girl power, this is not about picking up guys.” She goes on to define “girl power” by saying, “It’s about spreading a positive vibe, kicking it for the girls… It’s not about picking up guys. We don’t need men to control our life. We control our lives anyway.”
So there you have it: girl power is about spreading positivity, being who you are, and empowering other women. With those guidelines in mind, here are 8 of the most girl power-charged lyrics the Spice Girls have given us:
Key lyric: “You gotta show what you feel, don’t hide/Come on and do it/Don’t care how you look, it’s just how you feel/Come on and do it”
“Outer Space Girls”
Key lyric: “Close encounters of the female kind/Get with the M-G-M-V-E, guaranteed to blow your mind.” This deep cut track also found the girls singing about “a universal groove” and coming together “in intergalactic unity.” Mmhm.
Basically the entirety of “Wannabee”
Key lyric: “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends/Make it last forever, friendship never ends”
Key lyric: “God help the mister, yeah God help the mister, that comes between me and my sisters”
Key lyric: “What part of no don’t you understand?/I want a man, not a boy who thinks he can!”
“Spice Up Your Life”
Key lyric: “When you’re feeling, sad and ‘lone/We will take you, where you gotta go/Smiling, dancing, everything is free/All you need is positivity”
“Right Back At Ya”
Key lyric: “There’s been tears along the way/But we’re still the best of friends/Never needed to pretend/‘Cause real friendship never ends”
Bonus: This clip of the girls’ awesome sound-off song in “Spice World”
Key lyric: “We’re the Spice Girls, yes indeed. Just Girl Power is all we need. We know how we got this far. Strength and courage and a Wonderbra!”
Bonus key lyric: “Listen up, take my advice — we need five for the power of Spice. Give it up, give it out, take a stand, scream and shout! One, two, three, four, five, Spice Girls!”