Year 2019 is closing in and it is the time of reflection. Toss away phoney self-help by the Malcolm Gladwells of this world and join me in admiration of the true underdog of the lifestyle gurus: Victoria Beckham. Here’s everything I learned from her.
- Women don’t have to smile in photographs.
An obvious one to start with, right? Her withstanding the pressure to “give us a smile!” is a great favour to the rest of us women: we do not have to smile when prompted. Ever. On or off camera.
- Doing nothing is always the easiest thing to do.
Oh it’s so easy for her to set up an entire lifestyle empire because
a) she has the Spice Girls money and
b) she has her husband’s money.
Guess what? The easiest thing always is to sit back and do fuck all – because she could afford that, too. Few things annoy me more than people who use the argument: Oh it’s so easy for (usually it’s a she) her. Nothing is easy for anyone.
Let me elaborate: I was probably among the first ones to snark at the news that VB would be launching a fashion line: “Good luck, farewell, Posh Spice – the fashion vultures will kill you. Kill you. Nothing as notoriously scathing and bitchy as the fashion world. Bye bye.” What could she possibly know from having been a cartoon character in a girl band? She wore a crown to her wedding, for crying out loud.
Most thought she’ll end up concocting a supermarket perfume and retreat to their naff Beckham mansion to lick her wounds.
Fast forward 10 years and the high-fashion hobnobbers are fighting over tickets to sit on the front row in her shows.
- You can evolve. On your terms.
Victoria Beckham did. From a manufactured character in a pop band. To a WAG. To a trophy wife. To a respected industry leader as regards clothing and beauty, respectively. (I mean have you seen her skin?????)
She was widely expected to be the lesser talent of the Beckham duo, and boy did her success annoy her critics, resulting in relentless mocking, ridicule and for over two decades having every minutia of her high-octane marriage pored over in the press -because surely such life was all but stage-managed? She had learned her lessons from dealing with press during the Spice Girls days and knew to keep her guard and a tight upper lip, and continue doing her thing -with aplomb.
- Your past doesn’t need you – your future does.
When the old job calls, there’s no need to get clad in the Posh Spice costume. Not even for the Queen and Country.
-“You know, I’m not doing it because things feel different now than they used to,” she explained when asked why she decided not to partake in the 2019 Spice Girls comeback tour, “I’m 45 now and very happy to be the woman I am…“
Yes. Moving on, y’all.
- Vanity is not a sin, neither is self-care – even for the middle aged.
She was asked what vanity means for her, and replied “I don’t think vanity has to be negative. There can be a positive take on it: you just want to look the best that you can.” When the interviewer pushed and asked her how long she spends looking after herself, VB shot back “Quite a long time. I don’t think we should feel guilty about looking after ourselves.”
- Exercise. And always remember sunscreen.
With the following VB quote from an interview she gave during 2018 London Fashion Week, let me thank you for reading Kassandra Komplex this year. May you have everything you need and wish for in 2020 and the coming decade.
Thank you for sticking around.
It’s OK to be different. And when people tell you no, you say “actually yes“, and you keep going, and you believe in yourself. You can never dream too big. VB
Photo credits: Victoria Beckham’s instagram feed. The title picture was shot for the 2018 February issue of the Spanish Vogue.