The British music scene
After being shut out by the Brit Pop revolution that occurred in the early 1990s when bands like Oasis, Pulp and Blur dominated the charts, pop music found a voice again. The image of the Spice Girls was deliberately aimed at young girls, an audience of formidable size and potential; reinforcing the range of appeal within the target demographic were the bandmates' five distinctive personalities, which encouraged fans to identify with one member or another. This marketing was helped in no small way by the aliases assigned to each member of the group. Shortly after Wannabe’s release, the group appeared in "Top Of The Pops" magazine where each member was given a nickname based upon their image: Victoria became "Posh Spice", Emma became "Baby Spice," Melanie B was named "Scary Spice", Geri was named "Sexy Spice" (later changed to "Ginger Spice"), and Melanie C became "Sporty Spice". These nicknames quickly caught the imagination of tabloid editors and they stuck with the girls throughout their careers.
The "Girl Power" slogan was met with varied reactions, both positive and negative. The phrase was a label for the particular facet of feminist empowerment embraced by the band: that a sensual, feminine appearance and equality between the sexes need not be mutually exclusive. This concept was by no means original in the pop world; both Madonna and Bananarama had employed similar outlooks. However, the Spice Girls' version was distinctive. Its message of empowerment appealed to young girls, adolescents and adult women, and it emphasised the importance of strong, loyal friendship among females. In all, the focused, consistent presentation of "girl power" formed the centrepiece of their appeal as a band. Some critics dismissed it as no more than a shallow marketing tactic, while others took issue with the emphasis on physical appearance, concerned about the potential impact on self-conscious and/or impressionable youngsters. Regardless, the phrase became a cultural phenomenon, adopted as the mantra for millions of girls and even making it into the Oxford English Dictionary. In summation of the concept, author Ryan Dawson said, "The Spice Girls changed British culture enough for Girl Power to now seem completely unremarkable."
The term "Cool Britannia" became prominent in the media and represented the new political and social climate that was emerging with the advances made by New Labour and Tony Blair. Coming out of a period of 18 years of Conservative government, Tony Blair and New Labour were seen as young, cool and very appealing, a main driving force in making Britain look fashionable again. (The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, responsible for coining the term "Cool Britannia" in their song of the same title, intended it in a sarcastic and mocking manner.) Although by no means responsible for the onset of "Cool Britannia", the arrival of the Spice Girls added to the new image and re-branding of Britain, and underlined the growing world popularity of British, rather than U.S., pop music. This fact was underlined at the BRIT Awards in 1997. The group won two awards but it was Geri Halliwell's Union Jack dress that appeared in media coverage the world over and eventually became a symbol of "Cool Britannia".
Icons of the 1990s
The Union Jack dress Geri wore has acquired something of an iconic status, and is in the Guinness World Records as the most expensive piece of pop star clothing (about £42,000) ever sold at an auction.
Ten years after the release of their debut single The Spice Girls were voted the biggest cultural icons of the 1990s by 80% in a UK poll of 1,000 people carried out for the board game Trivial Pursuit, stating that "Girl Power" defined the decade.
taken from wikipedia as was the post bellow