“Strength and courage in a wonderbra”: Femininity, drag, and the spice girls

Maayan Padan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Spice Girls were a unique pop phenomenon, promoting feminist ideology while being dismissed as proponents of postfeminism and positioned as collaborators with the patriarchy. Drawing on music videos the band released during 1997, this article suggests that the band’s queer choices, regarding the spice personas the band adopted, were overlooked. This article explores the spice personas presentation of femme embodiments using drag: subverting notions of femininity as natural and monolithic, and resisting femininity as ubiquitously disempowering. By highlighting the heterosexual bias and anti-sex undertones in postfeminism, this analysis generates a multifaceted reading of popular femme performances as female-to-femme drag.

Original languageEnglish
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2023


  • Spice girls
  • drag
  • femme embodiment
  • femme theory
  • postfeminism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Anthropology


Dive into the research topics of '“Strength and courage in a wonderbra”: Femininity, drag, and the spice girls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this