The Spice Girls: Class Warfare and Social Stratification

fOx

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Having twin degrees in Nineties Studies and Communist Theory, I often find myself analyzing the pop culture trends of the nineteen nineties through the social lens of Marxist theory. Most recently, my analysis has been focused on the largely ignored cultural artifact of the Spice Girls, an ensemble pop band that attempted to mimic the marketing strategies utilized by boy bands, to largely mixed results. In todays analysis, I'll be focusing on their hit single, "Wannabe."

The most interesting part of the video is the opening sequence, in which The Spice Girls, an upper class clique of rich, famous, beautiful, and predominantly white, women run down a largely empty London Street. While running towards the camera, they notice a group of poor, homeless people. They then proceed to lock hands, and jump up and down in front of the homeless, quite literally flaunting their wealth and privilege in front of the most needs people in the country.

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Not content with mockery, the spice girls then proceed to steal what few clothes they have, before then calling them "wannabe's." It is not unusual for a music video to drop the title at the beginning, but it is rare for them to tie it into a larger theme. In this case, the foolishness of the lower classes for "wanting to be" like their more privileged social superiors. On the surface this may seem like a bold statement, but the viewers must remember who this was aimed at: wealthy white suburbanites who view lower class people as strange, foreign, and dangerous.

The spice girls then proceed to zero in on a new target: young children.
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As the clearly horrified children get out of the car, and attempt to escape the group of young child predators flocking down upon them, the spice girls tell them that, if they (the children) want to become their lovers, they have to "get with their friends." I.E., the spice girls are a polyamorous sex cult, and if the children want to have sex with one of them, they must have sex with all of them. The parents attempt to guard their children and shuffle them away. The spice girls initially continue their pursuit, but the distant bang of a car door signals that Chris Hansen is on his way. Worried for their safety, the spice girls are forced to flee the scene, but not before screeching "Ahhh" at the children in disgust and disappointment.

It goes without saying that this is a disgusting display of behavior. However, like Gone with the Wind, it is an interesting time capsule about where out culture was at this time. In this case, we see that the spice girls are harassing a group of upper class people. However, they are not harassing them because of their class. After all, the spice girls themselves are upper class. What we're instead seeing is at attempt by the new rich to literally devour the young of the old, in an attempt to replace them. They are signaling, in one scene, their disgust of the poor, and of their own wealthy rivals.

Having been forced to flee their last target, the roving band of harpies decide to swarm down upon a new victim: and elderly, middle class working man. Eye's brimming in terror, he throws his hands up fear, while the spice girls proceed to shove him towards his podium, destroy his work station, and throw his papers wildly into the air.

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fOx

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The man is terrified, but allowed to live. The scene that follows is just as horrible. Unable to sate their wicked desires earlier, the spice girls then proceed to sexually harass all of the young men in the bar. They molest them, kiss them without consent, dance with their nipples being pressed against their shirts in the middle of a family establishment, and flash their panties in front of the crowd. They do backflips on the dinner table. They rip up the table mat. The women, terrified for the lives of their loved ones, attempt to shield their men from the violence. It's utter chaos, and the spice girls enjoy every minute of it.

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So what does it all mean? Well, some have mistakenly claimed that the video was a condemnation of old school English morals and Thatcherism. An anthem calling for sexual and moral liberation. However, this is not so. This is not a rejection of Thatcherism, but a celebration of it. The celebration of a world in which the upper class can terrorize the poor, and the working class, and their political enemies.

After all, lets not forget what the spice girls have said themselves. Victoria Beckham came out as a Eurosceptic, saying: “The Euro bureaucrats [the wealthy people in the video] are destroying every bit of national identity” while Horner, most notoriously, declared Margaret Thatcher “the original Spice Girl”. The spice girls were not simply endorsing Thatcherism, they were endorsing full on political violence, and hatred of the poor. While this video may be a time capsule of the nineties, these thoughts have not disappeared. It is not a coincidence that Ginger Spice wore a union jack dress. The pop group was calling for a return of full on colonialism, nationalism, terrorism, and Thatcherism, and while thatcher herself may be gone, the spice girls are not.


For reference, here is the video. Be warned, this may be offensive for some audiences.
 
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PointlessKnowledge

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I feel the Spice Girls are a direct result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the natural progression of the capitalistic state. Without the shared enemy to unite them, those who fly under the banner of Capitalism resort to eating one another as is the nature of capitalism. A prime example of why humanity needs to break the destructive shackles of capitalism and hurry its return to monkee.
 

fOx

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A sex cult where I'm forced to constantly have sex with The Spice Girls!?!

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Jesus tippy, do you have no shame?

In any case, they aren't interested in you. There's some really Ara Ara energy going on there.

I feel the Spice Girls are a direct result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the natural progression of the capitalistic state. Without the shared enemy to unite them, those who fly under the banner of Capitalism resort to eating one another as is the nature of capitalism. A prime example of why humanity needs to break the destructive shackles of capitalism and hurry its return to monkee.
I think you make a strong point. Hence why pop music and the arts are really just an extension of capitalist thought, and present a serious danger to the well being of society.
 
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SilentPony

Previously known as an alleged "Feather-Rustler"
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I mean are we saying a for-profit corporate run pop ban that reinforced make up and clothing beauty standards for young impressionable girls while also having brand name sponsors and merchandise was...*gasp* sorta sketchy and immoral?!

Next you're gonna tell me the same company that runs OkayCupid also runs Tinder and Match and heavily markets and monetizes loneliness.
 
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Drathnoxis

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What a coincidence, I just heard a really good cover of Wannabe on the radio, like last week. I actually liked it so much I sat in the car for an extra couple minutes just to hear the name of the band, which I almost never do.
 
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Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
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You guys still have shame??!?! In THIS economy?!!??!
Politicians might have lost the War on Drugs, but as exemplars such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson show, they comprehensively won the War on Shame.