Tuesday 22 October 2019

Andrea Smith: I'll tell you what I really, really want...not to be lectured to by smug stars


Who Do You Think You Are? was one of the Spice Girls biggest hits.

Having read excerpts from the latest interview with Victoria Beckham, I would ask the same question of the band's biggest star.

Posh Spice is currently gracing the cover of British Vogue, and when questioned about how she felt about turning 40 in April, her response was sickeningly self-congratulatory.

"I looked at it and said to myself, I have four incredible children, an incredible husband, a business that's doing very well. I've worked hard and achieved a lot. I don't think I could have achieved much more."

As a 40-something woman, I am exasperated by those like Posh and her pal, Gwyneth Paltrow, who love to convince us that they have already achieved the fairytale ending mid-way through their lives.

I always think there must be something very wrong at the heart of a situation if you feel that you have to make your life and all you have achieved sound so glittering.


In one way I admire Victoria. She emerged from being the sulky one-who-couldn't-sing in the 90s' girlband, to become a respected designer.

She and husband David Beckham successfully turned themselves into global fashion icons and are currently worth in excess of €200m.

There is no doubt that the 'Brand Beckham' tag opened doors for Victoria's fashion career.

What surprised me about Victoria's analysis of what she had achieved was that, by 40, you have usually learned the hard way not to sound too smug.

We all know that life can change in the blink of an eye, and carefully-constructed perfect lifestyles have an unfortunate habit of tumbling down and making a mockery of any earlier proclamations of happiness.


Look at Posh's pal Gwynnie, who has spent years smugly lecturing the rest of us on how we should be feeding our families.

It turns out that behind the scenes, the insufferable actress was 'consciously uncoupling' from her seemingly picture-perfect marriage to Coldplay's Chris Martin.

Posh was quick to heap fulsome praise on her husband of 15 years in Vogue, saying: "I wouldn't be where I am without David.

"He gives me the security and encouragement to do what I do. I do the same for him."

However, let us not forget that the Beckhams' marriage was once hit by allegations that Victoria's "incredible husband" had a fling with Rebecca Loos, his PA at Real Madrid.

While David issued a statement denying an affair with the woman who called herself his "second wife", Victoria never faltered during this trying time, and said nothing until she was interviewed in 2007.

"I'm not going to lie. It was a really tough time," she admitted, in an interview that made her seem vulnerable and likeable.

"No one said marriage was going to be easy. Yes, there have been bumps along the road. But the fact is we've come out of everything we've been through stronger and happier."

When she was followed by reality TV cameras, Victoria came across as funny, self-deprecating and sweet, yet she pouts in public because she hates her smile.

By 40, you have usually learned that people are put off by paragons of perfection and sulky faces, and vastly prefer those who smile and laugh, even if it shows their gums.

We like our heroines to seem human and approachable, and dislike those who parade their "success" in our faces.

This is why, given a choice, we would prefer to hang out with Dawn French, Lily Allen and Adele, even though not all of them could rock a Victoria by Victoria Beckham bandage dress.

Irish Independent

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