The Spice Girls were at the crest of their powers in 1997. Outselling every British pop act since The Beatles, the group starred in its only feature-length film that year and endorsed a number of products as well. One assignment they might have regretted was a deal with Polaroid. The camera company actually marketed a hot pink contraption called the Spicecam that year and built a whole ad campaign around the “girl power” ensemble. But fame and success did not shield Melanie Brown and company from some old school showbiz sexism. When someone behind the scenes of a Polaroid ad demanded “cleavage shots” and “midriff shots,” Brown refused to comply and confronted the chauvinist in person. The other Spices followed suit. And all of this has been preserved via glorious outtakes that have recently resurfaced on Twitter, thanks to an account called @I_Dont_Know_Her.
The Spice Girls dragging the makers of the Polaroid ad they were appearing in for trying to make them show their cleavage and midriff. pic.twitter.com/UBAvqIJ5Gq
— I DON’T KNOW HER (@I_Dont_Know_Her) November 14, 2016
This footage probably should have been the commercial—it’s truer to the spirit of the group than whatever the creep filmmakers had in mind. Geri Halliwell calls the man “a chauvinistic pig,” and Victoria Beckham (then Adams) takes the cheap sunglasses right off his smirking face so he can’t hide behind them. There’s something A Hard Days Night-eque about the way these performers disrupt the order and refuse to do as they are told.
Here, for context, is the resulting Polaroid commercial. The members of The Spice Girls, their midriffs well covered, are shown being expelled from Catholic school. It’s a profoundly weird commercial on its own, and includes a vomiting nun.
[via The Frisky]