Spice Grrl Power -- the Mekon Defense

Michael Pollak mpollak at panix.com
Sat Oct 24 13:41:00 PDT 1998

The two arguments that impressed me most in Timms' article were

1. That the Spice Girls were more like 12 year old girls than any of the other groups aimed at them -- that they therefore represented 12 year old girls "ethnically" as it were, the way Hispanic fans feel "represented" in Hispanic baseball players.

2. That everyone except their fans hates them, and hates them viscerally -- the reasons we give are really excuses for our immediate dislike. And that older men -- the people who that are most cuttingly dismissive about 12 year old girls and everything they hold dear -- and who represent for those girls, fairly enough, the power structure of the world that excludes them -- are the most vociferous and unfair in this visceral dislike.

That's enough to make clear to me why a 12 year old girl would identify with the Spice Girls and feel them to be their embattled champions. Which seems to be the core of their grrl power appeal: cultural representation for a group that doesn't normally get any. A moment on the world stage where other people are forced to look at them. And go bleeccch. Girl power is us hating them. It's older men impotently raging for a change at what 12 year old girls have wrought. I can see how they might enjoy that.


__________________________________________________________________________ Michael Pollak................New York City..............mpollak at panix.com

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