Victoria Beckham turns 40 tomorrow. Elizabeth Joyce reports on how she went from Wannabe to the woman who now has it all.
In celebrity bingo, Victoria Beckham has a full house.
She’s been a pop wannabe, one fifth of the biggest girl band of all time, queen Wag, washed-up solo star, actress, model, author, humanitarian and, now, respected fashion designer.
She’s also managed to marry the fittest footballer ever, have four gorgeous children and go to war with Naomi Campbell, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Jordan and Rebecca Loos.
Phew, that’s a lot to cram into 40 years.
And how will Mrs Beckham be celebrating her milestone birthday tomorrow? Diamonds? Dom Pérignon? A magnificent ball for 1,000 of her closest A-list chums? After all, this is the woman who sat on a golden throne for her wedding and has an Hermes Birkin collection worth £1.5 million.
Well, it seems the artist formerly known as Posh Spice has finally realised that less is more: she’s opted for a simple dinner party with her parents, hubby and a few select friends. There will be no other Spice Girls, no other Wags, just her nearest and dearest. OK, OK, that does include Eva Longoria, Simon Fuller and Gordon and Tanya Ramsay, and Becks is said to be buying her a £50,000 diamond bracelet, but that’s still pretty modest by VB’s standards.
Victoria Caroline Adams decided she wanted to be famous after watching the musical, Fame. Soon after, she enrolled in a performing arts school and became a fully-fledged all-singing, all-dancing theatre brat, auditioning for everything from the lead role for the 1995 box office bomb, Tank Girl to an advert in The Stage for ‘street smart, extrovert, ambitious girls able to sing and dance’. It would be the audition to change her life: before you could say “zig-a-zig-ah”, she was a Spice Girl.
Music, movies, merchandise, heck, pretty much world domination, followed and she will forever be remembered as pouting, Gucci-clad, bob-haired Posh Spice. She never spoke, she never sang, she never smiled but she did do a weird wink-and-point thing. Classic stuff.
It’s a world away from her image now: the uber-successful and respected fashion designer whose clothes are all about understatement and elegance.
Ah ‘understatement and elegance’, two words that were clearly not in her vocabulary for the 2006 World Cup.
This was the dawn of the Wag and it was all about fake boobs, fake hair, massive sunglasses and tiny hotpants. With Cheryl Cole on her arm, VB tottered around in six-inch heels and Roberto Cavalli’s finest £10,000 trashy dresses with breasts pushed up to her chin and hair down to her backside. Your average circus clown had more subtlety and sophistication.
But still, I have to confess, Gaudy Spice is my personal favourite incarnation of Mrs B. She was a lot more interesting back when she wasn’t perfect. These days, she’s obviously learned from her years in the public eye and is thoroughly in control. And who can blame her? After all, she’s expertly navigated many a storm during her time in the spotlight: David’s alleged affair with Rebecca Loos, a backlash over her musical ability, a flop of a solo career, the world’s obsession with her weight, four pregnancies and the scrutiny they bring and countless other tales of backstabbing, bitchfights and bickering.
Is she miserable? Is she materialistic? Is she a bad wife? Does she have an eating disorder? Has she had plastic surgery? These are all questions she’s had land at her Jimmy Choo-ed feet countless times over the years – and she’s always dealt with them with grace and a smile. Well, more of a smirk than a smile but you get the drift.
After years of never quite fitting in, she’s now finally found her niche at the age of 40 – heading up her own eponymous fashion empire, where dresses go for two grand and everyone from Cameron Diaz to Anna Wintour are fans.
She’s also found a voice on Twitter, where she gives her seven million followers an insight into her A-list life, keen sense of style and actually quite fun personality. She’s even been known to post pictures of herself smiling and playfully jumping up and down on a bed. Shocking, I know. But forget Posh Spice, forget Designer Spice, forget Solo Spice, her most successful role is that of wife and mother.
She and David never look happier than when they are at each other’s side surrounded by Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and little Harper. For all that they’ve been through, they seem a genuinely happy and loving family – and what better birthday present is there than that?
Well, that £50,000 bracelet sounds nice . . .