Ive had this book on my shelf since a teen and it still remains one of my favourites.
The Plot: This is Victoria Beckham's autobiography - and goodness knows she's had quite a life since this book was published in the early 00's! The Good or Bad: Although embarassing to admit it's your book of the week, I would seriously recommend this book to anyone who has even a passing interest in Victoria Beckham or the Spice Girls.
In fact the whole Spice girls thing seems a very small part of the book. Victoria was never my favourite Spice Girl, if fact I don't know anyone who liked Posh spice best and she writes that she knew this and that must have been a hard thing to come to terms with.
I am not a big fan at all of Victoria Beckham but we, my daughter and I, we loved the Spice Girls when she was little so the part about the band was interesting to read. I do like her a bit more now that I've read this book.
It was then that I looked for more Spice Girl biographies on amazon, and found Learning to Fly. Victoria differs more from Geri and Mel B than they do from each other. She was also in a totally different place in her life at the time, finding a (presumably) happy marriage, and having children while Geri and Mel B were still working through their own issues with abusive relationships and eating disorders.
I don't follow the lives of celebrities like they're the only thing in the world that matters but I do enjoy autobiographies (usually of comedians or athletes I admire the work of) so when I saw this for 50p in my local charity shop I figured it was worth a pick up.
Like most people who read this book, I grew up with the Spice Girls and was on a kick of reading musician/band memoirs and such -- Victoria's book had higher reviews than most so I picked it up.
We join Victorias life as she is hustled through the stadium with her father through the dangerous mindfield that is the fans of your husband that hate you. But to be fair to Victoria, admits she knows nothing of the politics of football crowd mentality, let alone the complexities of the beautiful game. But thats the feeling everyone essentially gets from Victoria, one of heartless self indulgence. As I write this (2007), shes on the cover of Heat Magazine for the millionth time pleading, Why am I the most hated woman in Britain? A tag she clearly hasnt dropped in five years as she echoes the sentiment in the opening pages of this book. Im hateful of what she represents and the affluence, success and (more importantly) luck, for what was essentially a girl that looked quite cute (before the unsightly tit job/weight loss) and could perform a few dance moves. I asked the librarian, a young male dressed rather trendy now more than familiar with my challenge of reading nothing but celebrity autobiographies for a whole year and my odd taste in reading material, exactly why she is so hateful. Considering she was with (on this occasion) her parents, one of her mums friends and both parents of the man she loved, one would hope that there would be a way they could fill their time. Anyway, one of the most interesting pages of just the first ten pages of this book is that of Victoria receiving a visit from a Daily Mirror reporter who, after a phonecall wondering what she thought about an article of David reacting in familiar fashion to abuse from fans (giving a subtle middle finger), delivered a copy of their paper and a rival paper (the one with article) to her home. To be fair Victoria, despite the choice of narrator, hes probably sold more books than you. I find myself shouting out aloud after the fourth time in so many pages Victoria writes this. Shes referring to the feeling of euphoria she got from the many different live performances of theatre and concert she went to as a child. You know the general public Victoria (those you constantly look down upon throughout this book), really dont care, let alone want to swap with your uber-famous life. What frustration Victoria is writing about is the familiar celebrity misfit at school story. Posh Spice truly is the Rodney King of Rural Hertfordshire and spends an odd amount of time being naturally hateful without realising so. All of those women (be honest, you all know at least one) have a very thin Victoria Beckham just waiting to get out. Its so sweet reading how the clearly deluded younger Victoria really could not see the extent of how much she rubbed people up the wrong way. Even Hitler was liked at school. Chapter Three opens thus, Like me, Dad is a complete workaholic. As comical as she is though, I do wonder why she needs to think about why she is the most hated woman in Britain. Posh writes in almost a style of magical realism sense when she describes of her excitement and reaction of her initial fame, upon the release of the Spice Girls first hit, Wannabe. Did Victoria Beckham just compare The Spice Girls to The Sex Pistols? Ringo and the boys actually started out with a biker image and had a completely different sound but like The Pistols were the focus of the success around them and the culture that they duly influenced through their success. Ok, wait a minute, as much as it is also true, Im not comparing the fucking Spice Girls to Nirvana. It was only after our success that pop music began to take off in America, with people like Britney Spears and Nsync. We opened doors for acts like this. The likes of Nsync and more importantly, The Backstreet Boys existed and had chart success abroad but not back home. The Spice Girls didnt make music labels rush together similar groups or anything and they were not a great an influence like Victoria clearly believes. To those not familiar with those two highly influential bands, theyre not and they are certainly more credible and were more highly regarded than The Spice Girls. To put Victoria straight, Nirvana were long disbanded by 97 and the US rock industry had moved on in the four years of the said bands popularity and highest grossing albums and this was highlighted solely by the success of No Doubts album Tragic Kingdom (which spent more weeks on the Billboard album chart than Spice in 1997), an epic display of singalong melodies fused by ska, uptempo punk and essentially (whether she likes it or not), POP. This very fact was confirmed by singer Gwen Stefanis prescence on the American Idol judging team this year, a credible position and honour Posh Spice would trample over any member of her family in her Jimmy Choos for. Speaking of losing a member, Victoria insists there was no in-fighting or falling out like the press intensely speculated. In fact, shes quite clear that it was her dancing that wasnt upto scratch. At the time of this books release, the press twitched and bemoaned about Posh making David move from his beloved Manchester to a London club, near where they were both from as she talks about the temporary nature of their initial purchase together up north. Victoria forever tries to convince us through this book that this is how their life operates. In regards to her weight we get (through the course of the book) about ten different diseases/reasons for why she is thin when really, the pressures of soceity and the world that she is are the ones to blame. Victoria is wonderfully arrogant but also incredibly naive and uninformed about the music industry, which is a shame. She talks about music like kids do in the playground, with no sense of experience or knowledge and seems to have had no fact checker working on this book. It takes a lot, a hell of a lot of manipulation and in many ways, desperation to stay in the media focus so much when in essence, your brand (as a single person and a couple) is faltering in the country that made you such a success. Victorias solo career fell at the first, unwise, spacey vocal, dance music, hurdle. The fake and staged photocalls of her looking up at him adoringly like you are posing for a fashion shoot dont cut it in the real world. This was highlighted when she went onto Womans Hour upon release and admitted that not only did she not write a word of this tome, she hadnt even read it yet.
Beckham has brought out her own range of sunglasses and fragrance, entitled Intimately Beckham, which has been released in the UK and in the United States. Her last documentary to date was Victoria Beckham: Coming to America which documented her move to the United States with her family in 2007.