The Spice Girls Were Almost Named Something Completely Different, According to Geri Haliwell
Now that we are living in an age of '90s nostalgia overload (see: Pokemon Go, a Clinton running for office, and Blink-182 releasing a new album), it's only fitting that the Spice Girls are returning to the spotlight after a long, long break. The hype began as a teaser for a new project (and hopefully some new music, too) with lady pals Mel B and Emma Bunton. Now, Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell has written an essay for Marie Claire detailing the early years of The Spice Girls and her place in that rarefied environment. It's truly essential reading for any fan of The Spice Girls. The touching personal essay dives into Halliwell's first brushes with her own feminism and personal identity, moving through to her audition for the soon-to-be-powerhouse girl group and even — perhaps most amusingly — what exactly the group was going to be named. From the sound of it, it was the subject of much debate.
Ideas for band names were kicked around. 'Touch' was suggested by our management team. (It didn't stick, obviously.) We were so different and our name had to feel like us, so we asked ourselves: What could fit all of us and show that diversity? I was in an aerobics class, and as I was stepping from side to side, 'Spice' popped into my head. I ran back to our house, and as the girls stood at the top of the stairs peering down at me, I called out, 'What about Spice?' They all looked at one another and nodded in agreement.
I don't know about you, but I really feel like "Touch" doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "The Spice Girls," right? Aside from an anecdotal history of the naming process, Halliwell goes into her audition process for the group and what those early days and months were like as she got to know the women she would embark on a lifetime friendship with. (Side note: Just reading this Marie Claire essay will give every Spice Girls fan a massive fandom high. Just sayin'.) Here's another brilliant memory on how the girls arrived at the idea of dressing in specific, alter-ego driven styles:
We bought tight white vintage Adidas T-shirts for everyone in the band to wear, because when you're in a band, you should all look the same, right? [...] It quickly became obvious that Victoria and Emma weren't exactly comfortable in the T-shirts we'd picked out. It was also obvious that the only way forward was to celebrate our individuality and let everyone be herself. So we did. How you saw us in public was very much our own individual style: Mel B was street and funky; Emma was sweet and baby doll; Victoria was minimalist but designer-driven (I remember Victoria coming into the studio one day wearing Manolo Blahnik shoes, and I was mesmerized); Melanie C rocked the sneakers and tracksuits; as for me, I was a mix of everything vintage, sassy, and expressive (depending on what day it was!).
The entire essay (lengthy but totally worth it) is full of moments like these. Halliwell's words will get you more than a little excited for what lies ahead for the women of the Spice Girls, whether they're working together or on their separate endeavors. Reading it, you'll probably be awestruck when you remember this all took place more than 20 years ago. Time flies when you're spicing up your life, right?