It ditched male charmers and knocked the Bechdel test out of the park. Two decades on, the Spice Girls’ film looks like a brilliant gateway to the F-word
I’m pretty sure that when my dad took me and my best friend to see Spice World: The Movie in 1997, it was for a quiet life rather than to make a point about female identity. Although for the record I always respected his favourite Spice Girl – Sporty – as being the thinking man’s choice. But, for all its stereotyping and campy scenarios, perhaps the trip did have more to offer an 11-year-old girl than just a fun afternoon and salted popcorn.
For one thing, I suspect it was the first film I saw that knocked the Bechdel test out of the park – it’s packed with female-centric conversations and barely touches on men, even less in a romantic context. The closest our heroes come to concerning themselves with relationships is when Emma says she wishes boys could be ordered like a pizza. Or when Geri is seen talking to an awkward bloke at a party, using the F-word itself: it was the first time I’d seen a woman I aspired to be labelling herself a feminist.
Spice World: the feminist movie? When girl power hit the the big screen