People

This is officially the nation’s favourite Spice Girl

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Stylist Team
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An extensive new survey sheds light on the UK’s attitudes towards the Nineties band – with some surprising results. 

YouGov is one of the world’s most prominent polling organisations, regularly releasing swathes of data that shed light on how people think and behave. Often, its biggest research is conducted into politics, from predicting election outcomes to surveying individuals about their thoughts on particular political issues, politicians and governments.

Sometimes, however, the focus of YouGov’s research is a little fluffier. This week, the polling firm published the results of an extensive survey into the UK’s attitudes to the Spice Girls – and revealed that the nation has an overwhelming soft spot for Emma Bunton.

More than a third (37%) of the 31,000 Brits polled by YouGov said that Baby was their favourite member of the iconic Nineties girl band, followed by Sporty Spice at 23% and Ginger at 19%.

Just 12% of respondents picked Posh as their number one, while only 9% preferred Scary Spice.

Interestingly, although only a minority of respondents to the poll favoured Scary Spice, these Mel B fans were also the most likely to describe themselves as “feminist”. More than 30% of those who identified Scary as their favourite Spice Girl said they believed “in gender equality and would describe themselves as a feminist”. Only 15% of Emma Bunton fans, in contrast, would say the same thing. 

Emma Bunton: the nation’s favourite Spice Girl 

Somewhat depressingly, given that the Spice Girls built their brand on “girl power”, most of their fans seem to be resistant to the idea of feminism. Between 83-90% of people with a favourite Spice Girl said they supported equality between the sexes, but would not describe themselves as a feminist.

Even more disconcertingly, 9% of those who loved Geri Halliwell claimed not to believe in gender equality at all. This statistic makes a little more sense when we learn that Ginger also has the most male fanbase: 60% of those who said Ginger was their favourite Spice Girl were men.

On a more positive note, the fans polled by YouGov did seem to have absorbed the Spice Girls’ message – emphasised in songs such as Wannabe – about the importance of friendship. Almost 70% of those who said they had a favourite Spice Girl agreed with the statement “my friendship is a really important part of my life”. Posh Spice fan were the most friend-focused, with three-quarters agreeing with the above statement.

Will the nation’s fondness for Baby Spice result in a deluge of Emma Bunton memorabilia at the upcoming Spice Girls exhibition in London? Only time will tell.

Images: Getty Images