Objectification, Sexualization and Commodification of the Spice Girls
The Spice Girls are a cultural phenomenon; the all female group was formed in 1994 and consists of Geri Halliwell, Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm. Through their names Baby Spice, Sporty Spice, Scary Spice, Ginger Spice and Posh Spice each member embraced a different female identity that helped to distinguish between them and helped their fans to identify with a certain member. The audience demographic the Spice Girls is primarily directed towards is female youths because of its large potential size and high levels of disposable income. On the surface the British all-girl band the Spice Girls appear to be strong feminist women who command control in their lives and empower the phrase “girl power” but on closer inspection the Spice Girls endorse a narrow view of fun feminist values and are commercialized objects created to generate profits and further promote the Sexualization and commodification of themselves and all women. Firstly, their choice of clothing, hair, makeup and body image contribute to damaging modes of femininity and offer traditional and sexual images for the male gaze. Secondly, the five distinct identities of the band define and shape the confines of womanhood identities and “make it difficult for [fans] to think of alternatives” (Hollows 169). Lastly, the Spice Girls have been marketed and branded so flawlessly that any original Girl Power feminism movement promoting independence and sexual empowerment has been replaced with consumerism.
The image that the Spice Girls portrays is that of popular feminism. During their shows, interviews and photograph sessions the Spice Girls are usually dressed in scantily clad clothing, revealing a lot of skin. Although each Spice Girls style varies according to their alter ego, they all perform sexy stripteases on stage, endorse wearing makeup and current hairstyle trends which is intended for...
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