Victoria Beckham’s Essex accent evolved to sound classier

Victoria Beckham's Essex accent evolved to sound classier

Victoria Beckham has always had a taste for the arts. She grew up in Essex and attended theater arts school, studying dance. But it wasn’t until she responded to a newspaper ad seeking to bring together a group of talented girls that her fame exploded. As a member of the best-selling girl group of all time, the Spice Girls ruled the world and quickly rose to stardom in the 1990s. Victoria’s alter ego in the group, Posh Spice, enabled her to wear designer clothes and upscale makeup, and even marry football madman David Beckham. But as her star grew, did her accent get more chic?

Victoria Beckham | Pablo Cuadra / Getty Images

Become a chic spice

Beckham auditioned for the girl group when she was just 20 and landed the gig. It took a lot of work for the band to become the powerhouse we know today. They were originally quite bland and even had a different name – Touch. The girls realized that their unique differences were what would make them stars, so they dressed and behaved like themselves. Soon, the media dubbed every girl a different “spice” – Baby, Scary, Athletic, Ginger, and Posh.

Almost two years after their formation, the Spice Girls had their first hit – “Wannabe”. It topped the UK and US charts and solidified the group’s girl power philosophy. They followed up with the singles “Say you will be there” and “2 Become 1”. Their overwhelming success led to sold-out tours and a merchandising bargain, but their biggest act that grabbed attention was their own movie – Spiceworld.


By 1998, the group was overexposed and exhausted. Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice, left the group, citing exhaustion, but rumors of fights within the group persisted. The other four vowed to continue, but by the end of the year Beckham and Mel B. (Scary Spice) were pregnant. After a short break, the quartet released their next album Forever.

The album did not go well with critics and never achieved the success of their previous work. In 2001, the group announced their hiatus to work on alternative projects. Some of the girls went on to record solo albums, including Beckham, but none of them enjoyed success like their Spice Girls days. Beckham has been heavily involved in the fashion world – walking the catwalks and working as a brand ambassador. She started a denim collection, DVB Denim, and then created an entire fashion brand which is very lucrative.

A big movement and a change of accent?

As David Beckham’s football career took a slowdown, “Posh and Becks” were drawn to Los Angeles with the signing of David to the struggling MLS LA Galaxy team. The move meant an increase in the profile of football in America, and who better to lead it than former FA Cup football star David Beckham and his superstar wife?

As the Beckhams’ fame grew, audiences couldn’t help but notice that their accents changed. Were they trying to look more chic? Perhaps it was their move to America and their immersion in the culture that made it. The BBC reports that the University of Manchester took a look at the couple and determined there were changes in their speech before and after they moved to Los Angeles.

The study found that during the Spice Girls era, Beckham had the typical accent of an Essex girl. She said her L about 25% of the time in 1997, but increased it to 46% in 2012. Researchers have some idea of ​​why this change occurred. “We think it may be related to the fact that she forged a different career as a highly respected fashion designer. Factors such as social mobility and geographic location can impact the way adults pronounce words. ”


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