“You are not the prettiest, or the thinnest”: Victoria Beckham pens open letter to her teenage self

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Moya Crockett
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At a glance, the Victoria Beckham of today – the dreadfully chic, phenomenally successful and critically-lauded fashion designer, wife and mother-of-four – doesn’t have a great deal in common with the teenage Victoria Adams.

But in a letter written to her 18-year-old self, Beckham makes it clear that she’s not embarrassed by her past – not even some of her old outfits.

And Beckham had some words of solace for her anxious younger self.

“I know you are struggling right now,” Beckham writes in the letter, published in the October issue of British Vogue. “You are not the prettiest, or the thinnest, or the best at dancing at the Latin Theatre Arts College.

“You have never properly fitted in, although you are sharing your Surrey school digs with really nice girls.

“You have bad acne. You think the Principal has put you at the back of the end-of-year show (in a humiliatingly bright purple Lycra leotard) because you are too plump to go at the front. (This may or may not be true.)”

But – as we all know – things could only get better for VB. Here, we’ve collected some of her choice words for her younger self… 

On love

Beckham, who has previously admitted to not “really” knowing who her husband David was when they first met in 1997 (“I was never that into football”), also has some tongue-in-cheek sporting advice for the younger Victoria.

“Learn more about football,” she says, “especially the off-side rule.”

And she shares with her teenage self the story of how she’ll meet her future husband.

“Yes, love at first sight does exist. It will happen to you in the Manchester United players' lounge – although you will get a little drunk, so exact details are hazy,” she writes.

Beckham also reveals that, when they meet for the first time, she’s much more famous than David: he hasn’t yet made the first Manchester United team, and prefers hanging out with his family to laddy banter.

“While the other football players stand at the bar drinking with their mates, you will see David standing aside with his family. And he has such a cute smile. You, too, are close to your family, and you will think how similar he feels to you,” she says.

“He's going to ask for your number. (He still has the London-to-Manchester plane ticket on which you wrote it.)”


On fashion

Beckham refuses to be embarrassed about any of the sartorial decisions she made in her youth – because, she says, she always understood that fashion was meant to be enjoyable.

“You are going to have so much fun with your clothes - PVC catsuits; chokers that say absurd things; weird spiky blonde hair,” she writes.

And despite the insecurity that plagued her as a teenager, it seems that Posh Spice later developed a glorious sense of who-cares confidence when it came to clothes.

"It will never occur to you that you appear ridiculous,” she observes. “You will turn up at awards ceremonies resembling a drag queen. But I look back at you and smile. It will add interest to your life to go from one extreme to the other. I love the fact that you feel free to express yourself.”

Today, Beckham runs her own highly-respected, eponymous fashion label, and she tells her younger self: “Fashion will take on added stature one day, but try not to be stifled by it.”

As a woman in her forties, Beckham warns her younger self, she’ll develop a more pared-down approach to fashion. “You will learn, as you mature, to swap heels for Stan Smith trainers, mini dresses for crisp white shirts.”

However, she says, one thing will never change.

“You will never be one of those people who just roll out of bed.”

Images: Rex Features


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Moya Crockett

Moya is a freelance journalist and writer from London, and a former editor at Stylist.