The Crystallization of the Tween Market
On July 8 1996, the Spice Girls released ‘Wannabe’ and with it a new pre-teen generation was born.
In the summer of 2012, I like virtually everyone else in the world was glued to the TV watching the closing ceremonies of the London Games. For weeks leading up to the ceremonies there were rumours of a Spice Girls reunion. The energy of the crowd in anticipation of the Girls was palpable even from my couch in my little living room half the globe away from London. True to form, when the Spice Girls did appear, rolling into the stage stadium precariously perched atop bejewelled London taxi- cabs, they brought the house down. I have always had a mixed reaction to the Spice Girls. When I had first learnt about the Spice Girls in the mid-1990s, my response was utter indignation. I mean who were these garishly clad women dancing around in sequin micro-minis and platform boots calling out to us to “Spice up [our] life”? My indignation was pushed even further when I found out that they had these ridiculously insipid stage names, like Posh Spice, Scary Spice and, even worse, Baby Spice. Nevertheless, once I became familiar with them, their anthem of Girl Power piqued my feminist sensibilities. Rarely had I heard such an overt declaration for equality. And there was a third response. While wrestling with my conflicted views, I could not help but smile...
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