Victoria Beckham is finally up to date with her views on being skinny

It’s hardly groundbreaking news that women want boobs, a bum – and clothes for normal people

Sean O'Grady
Tuesday 17 May 2022 12:20 BST
Living out in Florida seems to have altered her outlook
Living out in Florida seems to have altered her outlook (Getty)

Apparently Victoria Beckham has got a new range of “normal” sized clothes out, and now she thinks that wanting to be “really thin” is an “old fashioned attitude”.

Well, knock me down with a feather, which you probably could still do in the case of “Posh” Spice, as we must now learn not to call her. As far as I can remember, Victoria Posh (or whatever her name currently is/was) was the poster girl for skinny back in the 1990s. In the era of Cool Britannia, you weren’t cool unless you could make yourself invisible just by turning sideways. If you were fatter than a wafer of graphene you deserved all the ridicule you got. Remember Kate Moss’s infamous “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”?

Times change, though, and since her heyday, Spice-Beckham regrets the societal pressures that made women into stick insects. She told the press a few years ago about what life used to be like: “In the gym, instead of checking my posture and position, I was checking the size of my bottom or to see if my double chin was getting any smaller.”

Now, though? “I think women today want to look healthy, and curvy. They want to have some boobs – and a bum.”

The youthful, 48-year-old former icon of Tony Blair’s New Britain these days argues that the curvier the figure, the “better my VB Body dresses look”. I have to say that, on cursory examination, Lady Beckham still isn’t that curvy these days, but who’s judging?

It appears the former Spice Girl has finally caught up with what women have been saying for decades – even if she’s way behind the curve. Thanks to the growth of the body positivity industry and the “beach body ready” backlash, it’s hardly groundbreaking news that women want boobs, a bum – and clothes for normal people.

Still, perhaps living out in Florida seems to have altered her outlook. “There are a lot of really curvy women in Miami, and they really own it, you know?…They show their bodies off with such confidence. I found both their attitude and their style really liberating,” she said. “And as a mother, I loved that Harper was around women who were really celebrating their curves and enjoying how they look.”

Fair enough. But the mischievous thought occurs to me that if Victoria Adams-Spice wanted to sell the kind of size zero gear she used to go around in, she wouldn’t find much of a market – especially in the United States of Obesity. One thing we have learned about Lady Beckham is that she is quite a shrewd businessperson, and if her brand needs upsizing, then her brand is going to get upsized – and sod the diet.

If anything, Victoria’s comments sum up the profound social shift we’ve seen over recent years when it comes to women’s bodies. The pressure to be thin has always been one upheld by the beauty and fashion industry, but it’s multi-faceted – because at the very same time, one of the greatest of dangers to public health today is the obesity epidemic.

We walk a fine line between not wanting young people to feel bound to skinny ideals, while also remaining healthy and not dangerously overweight. The kind of anorexia inspired by the insanely thin supermodels of the Spice Girls-era did untold damage to girls’ mental and physical health, and perhaps even Beckham herself was indeed caught up in that institutionalised cruelty inflicted by the fashion and beauty industry.

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No one wants to make fun of fat folk, and I’m against “fat shaming”, but just as being too thin can be devastating to your health, being very heavy isn’t very good for you, either. As someone who’s piled the pounds on, lost them in lockdown and has then put most of it back on, I know this isn’t easy to accept, or do anything about, but it’s still true: fat is a killer, and we’re losing the national struggle to get size under control.

By his own admission, Boris Johnson still lacks the willpower to stop himself from hacking off a piece of cheese every time he waddles past a fridge (presumably the ones too small for him to hide in).

But while our roly-poly prime minister not so long ago wanted to slim down and slim the nation of wobblebottoms down with him, not least because of the added risks of Covid that obesity brings, he’s now seemingly given up in his fight with the flab. The advertising bans aren’t coming to force, and the BOGOF offers on junk food remain in the supermarkets.

Something tells me that Victoria Beckham still doesn’t succumb to that sort of temptation. She’s in good, sensible shape in every way, and setting a fine example – at last – by acknowledging what women really want, and look like. I am now going to eat an apple.

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