Image Source Tumblr: AngstFest

Zig-a-zig-ahhs! The Spice Girls (my ultimate girl crushes) recently released unheard songs that have been in the can since 1998. My 90s nostalgia can barely be contained, and I have the newly debuted songs playing on repeat (listen here!).

The Spice Girls were at the center of my musical focus during 1997 (I’m dating myself - I was in the third grade). I had requested the CD from my audiophile father, who was mystified by my fandom of the distinctly girly troop. The group was the most-slick pop package to be promoted since Madonna showed them the blueprint. For my young prepubescent self, the Spice Girls embodied a friendly, playful womanhood. The group’s songs were exuberant and immediately likable.

I grooved and bopped my way to elementary school each morning blaring “Spice Up Your Life,” on my portable cassette player. The Spice Girls were my jam, and ultimately led to my discovery of other pro-feminist, female artists like Le Tigre, Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, and the RiotGrrrlmovement in general (Kathleen Hanna, I love you).

Let me be clear, the Spice Girls message of feminism is a conflicted one. The group has, and always will be, a sugary mix of vapid pop and inexhaustible cuteness. While I wouldn’t go so far as to tout the Spice Girls as promoting a feminist agenda, Baby, Scary, Sporty, Posh, and Ginger were all about “girl power,” and that’s a good thing.

With the release of the Spice Girls new tunes, I want to acknowledge the groups impact on my life. While the gang wasn’t even close to radical (except for that whole not bowing to the Queen thing), they did promote the idea that women’s femininity doesn’t exclude them from gender equity (a topic that has always been close to me - I am super femme).

So, “Wanna Be” an awesome Global Citizen? Take inspiration from the Spice Girls in honor of their newly released songs. It’s time to get your jelly shoes and crop tops out of the closet!

1. Let Love Lead the Way

video via youtube

Ever emphasizing the need for female strength and power, the Spice Girls cooed out “You may feel weak/but you are strong/don't you give up, girl!” It sounds corny, but sometimes, in my moments of self-doubt, I find encouragement in the soft, bubbly lyrics of my grade-school home girls.

2. Spice Up Your Life

video via youtube

With the earnestness of kittens, the Spice Girls belted out, “All you need is positivity/people of the world/spice up your life.” It’s a good mantra to have considering the gloomy news of the climate, disease, and education. In the moments when your optimism is falling, spice it up, and take heart in this peppy tune.

3. Say You’ll Be There

video via youtube

“Say You’ll Be There” tugs at my heartstrings every time I hear the soulful ballad. Admittedly, the song is written for a singular person, but I like to apply it to humanitarian work. In working together as global citizens to promote awareness of the SDGs and ending extreme poverty, coming together as one is critical. As the Spice Girls sweetly croon, “What I want from you a promise/you will be there.” Lets make a promise to a lifelong commitment to “being there” for bettering our collective, global future.

4. Girl Power

video via youtube

The Spice Girls brought the phrase “girl power to the masses," and British music across the pond to America (Ok, the Beatles did that first, but it had been a while). It can be argued that Baby, Scary, Sporty, Posh, and Ginger were marketing a “capitalist feminism” through the sales of CDs and paraphernalia, but despite the Spices’ commercial creation, the promotion of girl power is never a bad thing.

The vampy quintet epitomizes the commercial activism of the 90s that reigned over pop-music for the majority of the decade. The Spice Girls asked listeners to consider a call to female empowerment while wearing platform heels. Yes, the group turned girl power into a commodity, but I can honestly say the group helped to spark more nuanced feminist ideals in my adult life. As a little girl, I looked up to The Spice Girls for their promotion of individuality and self-love. The group’s campy play on gender in an era dominated by boy bands (heyyyyyy, JT!) gave young women like me (imperfect) role models to begin thinking about gender, sexuality, and women’s role in music. In celebration of the Spice Girls’ new release, strike a pose and send it to ShowYourSelfie to make sure all young girls get a chance to grow up with true girl power.


Kathleen Ebbitt



Demand Equity

How the Spice Girls Made Me A Better Global Citizen

By Former Global Citizen Staff Writer