Baby Spice, Sporty Spice, Scary Spice, Posh Spice and Ginger Spice.
For the ladies who grew up in the ’90s, these crazy names are meaningful enough to be straight out of the Old Testament. Superstar pop group the Spice Girls weren’t just a one-hit wonder with “Wannabe.” The fivesome revolutionized the music of the ‘90s like few other girl groups ever could, or will.
For Erica Freeman, a freshman majoring in management, the music of the Spice Girls still lives on.
“’Wannabe’ is my go-to karaoke song,” Freeman said. “Whenever it comes on, everyone is like, ‘Oh my god.’ It’s such a great song to dance and sing to.”
During the 1990s, the Spice Girls were figureheads of teen culture. They were on numerous magazine covers and released hit after hit. Almost every girl wanted to be them, and some still wish they could. Even for Halloween the group is a regular go-to costume, and others still have their dolls from their exclusive collection in their never-opened boxes.
Kaitlyn Mulligan, a freshman majoring in human development, recalls how enjoyable the group’s signature tracks were.
“Whenever I listened to the Spice Girls, which was often — I own all their albums — I always went all-out with my sister and we started dancing in my room,” Mulligan said. “It was a lot of fun.”
However, there are those, like Mary Burgess, an associate professor of music at BU and accomplished classical singer, who didn’t know anything about the group back in the ’90s and are still unimpressed with them today.
“As a classical singer my whole life, I have had little to no interest in things like the Spice Girls and wouldn’t even have known they existed if it weren’t for fashion magazines and that soccer player that one of them married,” Burgess said. “Did they really have any influence?”
The answer is yes. It was not just their catchy music and notoriety in the media, but the Spice Girls’ lyrics and what they stood for that had a huge social impact, especially on female youth. They paved the way for female performers today, showing that girl power could be a success.
Clarissa Ramnarine, an undeclared freshman, recalls the distinct styles of each Spice Girl.
“They taught me that it’s OK to be unique, because all five of them were so different,” Ramnarine said. “I liked Scary Spice the most because she always did and wore her own thing.”
Scary Spice’s eccentric leopard prints and Posh’s miniskirts will not be forgotten. Aside from the singers’ standout fashion, they were role models for many girls — glamorous singers who followed their dream and weren’t explicitly singing about sex. The material in their songs was pure, and they did a pretty good job of exemplifying that lifestyle when out of character.
Even in the new millennium, the Spice Girls will always bring about thoughts of nostalgia and usher in new young girls to sing the iconic words, “Make it last forever, friendship never ends.”
In late 2007, the group held a reunion tour, which sparked new interest from the younger generation while providing a stroll down memory lane for us veteran fans. It was one of the highest-grossing tours of the year, and people are still pushing for another one.
There’s something remarkable about the Spice Girls’ unwavering ability to write catchy, simple pop songs and carry with them such an important message about female strength. Their music can still be enjoyed today, like the work of the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. Not many girl groups, if any, can say that.
They were the epitome of girl power until their split. Now we’re just stuck with Adele.