She’s one half of one of the world’s most famous celebrity couples, a mother of four, a former Spice Girl and a hugely successful fashion designer, but Victoria Beckham hasn’t always been as confident as she is today.
Revealing her past insecurities in a public letter to her younger 18-year-old self in the October issue of British Vogue, the star opens up about her acne-ridden teenage years, insecurities surrounding her weight, bad fashion choices in her popstar heyday, and falling in love with husband David Beckham immediately.
Before she brought girl power to the masses as part of Nineties pop icons, The Spice Girls, Victoria revealed that she was just another teen struggling with weight worries and temperamental skin. She wrote: “I know you are struggling right now. You are not the prettiest, or the thinnest, or the best at dancing at the Laine Theatre Arts college. You have never properly fitted in.” The 42-year-old has had a well-documented battle with her complexion throughout her adulthood, and it seems her teenage years were no different. “You have bad acne. You think that the school principal has put you at the back of the end-of-year show (in a bright purple Lycra leotard) because you are too plump to go at the front. (This may or may not be true).”
While she may not have rated her own dancing skills, only a few years later Victoria joined The Spice Girls alongside Mel B, Mel C, Emma Bunton and Geri Halliwell, and rocketed to stardom with anthems like Wannabe and Spice Up Your Life. It was as ‘Posh Spice’, however – when her standard uniform was a little black dress with sky-high heels, instead of the tracksuits and platforms favoured by her bandmates – that she found her niche.
Now a celebrated designer running her own fashion empire, her eponymous label boasts an A-list fan base, and her catwalk show is a highlight of each season’s Fashion Week. Yet her past outfits now make her cringe with embarrassment. She told her younger self: “You are going to have so much fun with your clothes – PVC catsuits, chokers that say absurd things; weird spiky blonde hair. It will never ever occur to you that you appear to look ridiculous.”
Despite her current high-standing in the critical fashion world, she sees the funny side in her past style blunders, saying: “I look back at you and smile. It will add interest to your life to go from one extreme to another. I love the fact that you will feel free to express yourself.”
Now married 17 years, Vic reveals that she knew immediately that husband David was “the one”, when she met him at a charity football match back in 1997. “Yes, love at first sight does exist. It will happen to you in the Manchester United players’ lounge,” she wrote.
Going into more detail about their first encounter, she continued: “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 makes sure to point out that, despite equal billing now, back then she was the more famous of the two, as David was still an amateur footballer.
It seems the feelings were mutual, as David quickly asked for Victoria’s number and, heartwarmingly, he still has the piece of paper on which she handed over her digits. “He still has the London-to-Manchester plane ticket on which you wrote it,” she gushed. The pair got engaged in 1998, before marrying in 1999 and now share children Brooklyn, 17, Romeo, 14, Cruz, 11, and five-year-old daughter Harper.
However, while her style, career and passions have dramatically changed over the years, the brunette star admits that making an effort with her looks is one thing that has remained exactly the same, saying: “You will never be one of those people who just roll out of bed.”