I'm working on a few posts right now, but in the meantime, here's the third instalment of my style column for Morning Star. Hope you enjoy it. x (picture above is Victoria Beckham, or at least her legs, in the Marc Jacobs campaign)
Feminism and fashion have one thing in common these days - it's not done to criticise another woman, or at least, not to her face.
You can see the logic. After all, feminists and fashionistas alike come in for enough criticism without having our own tribes turn and skewer us with a sharp stiletto. So I want to make it absolutely clear that I have very deep-seated political reasons for being angry with Victoria Beckham, nee Victoria Adams, aka Posh Spice.
Posh was my hero. I was nine years old when the Spice Girls arrived in 1995. The first single I ever bought was the cassette tape of Wannabe. Suddenly, it was all right for girls to be powerful, to be spicy, to be fearless, to tell the whole world what they really, really wanted - even if, as it turned out, all they really wanted was to "zig-a-zig-ah." Nobody knew what that meant, but we were sure it was something rude.
For me, Posh Spice was where it was at - ladylike and assertive and reeking of "girl power." I wanted to grow up to be just like her but, by the time I did, the girl power-style brand had become weak, washed-out and ghostly - just like Posh herself.
Over the years, as Beckham has reinvented herself as a celebrity wife, mother and fashion icon, her image has changed beyond recognition. Now the former singer appears on billboards and magazine covers across the world looking pinched, sad and harassed.
Her most recent reincarnation as a designer encapsulates the difference between the Posh of yesteryear - the gutsy, grumpy, go-getting girl who couldn't sing and didn't care, her pale curves poured into shiny black frocks that hinted at sadism and sedition - and the Posh of today.
The dresses are constricting, dull and unforgiving, all muted greys and pastels. Despite their waist-sucking inbuilt corsets they can only be worn by the very, very thin. This might explain why Beckham's creations have been such a hit with a fashion press that values sickness and self-denial as the ultimate expression of a woman's success and marketability.
The news that Beckham is looking a bit thin these days is hardly likely to hold tomorrow's front page. Nor is the revelation that thousands of young girls across the world are developing eating disorders and citing Beckham's surprisingly visible bone structure as their "thinspiration."
If the fashion industry genuinely cared about women more than it cared about making money by making them miserable it would recycle these stories with significantly less morbid glee.
In fact, women in the public eye responding to pressure to starve themselves is nothing new [read the rest at Morning Star online].