Who Do You Think You Are?

by Bec Hawkings

When I grow up, I want to be Ginger Spice from the Spice Girls.

A few problems with this. One: Ginger Spice already exists, and identity theft is punishable by five years imprisonment. Plus, Geri Halliwell probably wouldn’t hesitate to take me down with a taser. Two: the Spice Girls exist in 1990s Britain, and I exist in twenty-first century Australia. Three, and perhaps most depressingly: I am already grown up.

I’m the first to admit there are flaws with my plan. Nevertheless, I still want to be Ginger Spice. I covet the Union Jack dress, and I can get behind the ‘Whoo! Girl Power!’ brand of accessibly non-threatening feminism. I know all the dance moves to Stop! and Who Do You Think You Are?, and the Spice Girls back catalogue is ingrained into my very DNA.

(Incidentally,  the Who Do You Think You Are? dance has much greater meaning to a grown-up than it ever did to a sheltered, Catholic ten year old schoolgirl.  Upon watching the video clip recently, I was vaguely horrified that our parents ever let us re-enact such wild and suggestive gestures. Horrified, and deeply amused.)

Ginger Spice was the feisty one, the independent one. She was curvy, she was sassy, and her hair was so fabulous I’ve spent much of my adult life trying to recreate it with L’Oreal Flame Red and a curling iron. Most importantly, she was the one that no-one chose when we played Spice Girls on the dusty primary school playground. Ginger was up for grabs, and I claimed her as my own.

My name is Bec, and as yet I’m not serving three-to-five in minimum security prison for identity theft. Yet.

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