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Feb. 20, 2008

Spicing up Silver Spring

by Johanna Gretschel, Online Managing Editor
The Baby Boomers had the Beatles — four dashing young Brits in matching suits — to hold their hands. For Generation "Me" Blazers, fond childhood memories are be conjured by none other than the Spice Girls — five stylish, harmonizing ladies from across the pond proclaiming girl power. The Beatles never reunited after their 1970 break-up, but luckily for Blazers, the Spice Girls proved that even after a six-year hiatus, their "friendship never ends;" the group reformed late last year for a reunion tour.
Despite being geared towards younger audiences, the Spice Girls are finding receptive ears in the Blazer crowd. Xin Shan
Despite being geared towards younger audiences, the Spice Girls are finding receptive ears in the Blazer crowd.


It's not just Blazers who are going berserk over the upcoming concert, paying $72 to $122 of hard-earned cash for a ticket to the show at the Verizon Center tomorrow. According to an Oct. 2 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) press release, all 23,000 tickets for the group's London concert sold out within 38 seconds in October. Echoes of the London concert-goers' spice frenzy can be heard and seen on Blair Boulevard, as Blazers turn to the Spice Girls as nostalgic reminders of their childhood role models.

Friendship never ends

Senior Morgan Nixon's boyfriend was shell-shocked when she told him she dished out over $100 for a ticket to the concert. But to Nixon, the expense was worth it for what she thinks will be a life-changing opportunity. Her eyes light up as she breathes, "This is like a dream come true."

Other Blazers lucky enough to hold passes to tomorrow's show express a girlish glee similar to Nixon's. "I grew up with them," says senior Alexia Paleologos, "and when they broke up, it was the end of the world."

Paleologos may be the ultimate fan. In addition to the upcoming Verizon Center show, she has already seen the Spice Girls at their Feb. 10 concert in Newark, New Jersey. After explaining that her father lives in Manhattan, she says simply, "It just felt necessary."

Senior Alexia Paleologos shows off her Spice Girls concert tee from the Newark, NJ show. Johanna Gretschel
Senior Alexia Paleologos shows off her Spice Girls concert tee from the Newark, NJ show.
The repeat attendee recalls spending second grade recesses playing Spice Girls with her friends. Other Blazers reminisce about similar experiences idolizing their spicy childhood heroes. Senior Katie Scott remembers owning a plethora of Spice Girls paraphernalia. "I was obsessed with them in elementary school, like all my birthday parties would have Spice Girls stuff," she says.

Many of the Blazers attending the concert attribute their love for the group at least partially to the childhood nostalgia that listening to the Spice Girls triggers. "It's a really good way to relive the past and remember what we did when we were little," Scott says.

According to Towson-based clinical family psychologist Dr. Marc B. Lipton, listening to artists one enjoyed during childhood is natural and comforting. "Much of who we like and what we like in life is related to what we liked in childhood. [The Spice Girls are] such a broad presentation that [they are] mostly a positive association for most people," Lipton says.

The Spice Girls' catchy pop beats and sing-a-long style lyrics would make the girl group a hit if they premiered today, but their history with fans who have grown up with the group increases their appeal. "It's not only something that like, if I heard it on the radio today, I would like it, but the fact that I've liked it for so long makes them even better," Scott says.

Nixon, who considers herself a life-long fan, agrees passionately. "They're very nostalgic," she says. "I was there from the beginning and I will be there until the end," she promises.

But the legacy lives even with younger fans who were not on the original bandwagon, like freshman Taylor Tingle. "I remember I was little and I liked to watch their movies with the woman who babysat me," she says.

Models in the role and on the runway

While Posh, Ginger, Baby, Sporty and Scary Spice's 1997 hit movie "Spiceworld" was prime babysitting and slumber party material, eventually inspiring generations of girls to mimick the group's declarations of "Girl Power!" modern-day girl groups cannot be seen producing the same kid-friendly fare.
Senior Alexia Paleologos is a loyal Spice Girls fan. Johanna Gretschel
Senior Alexia Paleologos is a loyal Spice Girls fan.


The Fab Five's potential as role models is another characteristic that keeps Blazers listening, especially in comparison to other contemporary celebrities. "Little girls now look up to Paris Hilton, or I don't even know who little girls look up to now," Scott says. "It's not like any of the Spice Girls overdosed on drugs. A lot of people liked that they gave girls a good name and wanted girls to be appreciated."

Nixon cites Posh Spice's nine-year marriage to soccer superstar David Beckham as a good example of monogamy and upkeep of values in the media's eye. "You can still be sexy without being a slut and you can still be sexy and feminine without sleeping around in Hollywood," she says.

Posh Spice, also known as Victoria Beckham, has given birth to three boys with Beckham, but isn't the only Spice Mom. Scary (Melanie Brown), Baby (Emma Bunton) and Ginger (Geri Halliwell) are also mothers, a fact that increases their role model points, according to Tingle. "You never see them out in public doing drugs or anything," Tingle says. "They have kids and families."

The girls' empowering lyrics and independent attitudes have as much to do with their rise to fame and popularity as their hit songs. Paleologos attests that their music is wholesome and inoffensive, unlike many of the current top-forty hits that the radio has to offer. "Their music doesn't really degrade anyone or talk about women in that sort of way," she says.

Attending the Spice Girls show tomorrow presents concertgoers with a unique and rare opportunity to fall back into a second-grade mentality. With every chanted "zig-a-zig-ah," the years start peeling back to a time when friendship minus messy drama had absolute rule. Feminism at its purest and finest: "If you want to be my lover, you got to get with my friends…"



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  • augh on February 20, 2008 at 11:54 PM
    The fact that this headline doesn't fall into the 'Humor' category drives me to tears.
  • alumnae3 on February 22, 2008 at 5:29 PM
    To artist Xin Shan:
    Melanie Brown is Nevisian and English. She clearly has brown skin. Y doesnt your pic\ comic\depiction show her w brown skin?

    Y does Babyhave a black eye?
    & that dress definitely IS NOT posh.

    Y does everything have to be japanime? Can we get normal round lifelike cartoonists pls?

    Charles Schultz is puking in his grave.
  • to alumnae3 on February 22, 2008 at 8:29 PM
    Obviously you have no conception of cartoon-
    cartoons are not supposed to be lifelike
    and who made Charles Schultz the ultimate in cartoon judges?
    For that matter, who are you to say what style cartoons are "normal"?
    Let artists have their styles, and go take an English lesson. America doesn't need more "plssss, Y noobs" that pretend to know something about art.
  • great article on March 2, 2008 at 6:30 PM
    i like this article [redacted] YOU HATERS
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