The former Spice Girl recalled when she was pressured to weigh herself on live TV in 1999, two months after delivering her first baby.
It might seems like we have a long way to go in terms of the media scrutinizing women’s bodies (and we do), but if you need proof that we’ve at least made baby steps, it’s this horrifying clip from 1999 where British TV and radio personality Chris Evans not only asked Victoria Beckham about how she got her body “back” two months after giving birth to her first child, Brooklyn, but brought out a scale to weigh her on live TV.
The Top Gear presenter, who has been accused of sexual assault, started asking about her body by saying that “a lot of girls want to know — because you look fantastic again — how did you get back to your shape after your birth?”
Victoria goes on to talk a bit about her workout regimen with then-fiancé David Beckham. “Is your weight back to normal?” Evans asks, to which Victoria replies, “Yeah,” in a way that says let’s stop talking about this. But he didn’t. Evans then pulls something from underneath his desk and produces a scale, bringing it around in front of Victoria.
“Oh no,” she awkwardly laughs, noting that the host had made her bandmate Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice, do the same thing on the show on a separate occasion. “This is horrible,” she says as Evans continues to read out her weight to the audience.
Yep, it was horrible.
The 23-year-old clip has recently resurfaced, with viewers rightfully calling out how problematic every component of this interview is. Victoria commented on the recirculating clip in an interview with Vogue Australia.
“I went on a TV show called Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush with Chris Evans many years ago and I’d just had Brooklyn and lost a lot of weight after. It happened to my mum after her pregnancies. It doesn’t mean you have an eating disorder,” she explained of her postpartum figure — not that she needs to justify what she looks like at any time in any capacity in the first place.
It’s hard to see how any woman doesn’t have issues with body image, weight, and body positivity, looking back on what we saw growing up (and still see today).
Posh also explained how the media in general always had an opinion on her body. “I’ve had ‘Porky Posh’, I’ve had ‘Skeletal Posh’. After I had Brooklyn, there was a picture pointing to every single part of my body where I had to focus on losing the weight from.”
Referring back to the scale incident, she said, “And he made me stand on the scales to be weighed. Can you imagine doing that nowadays?”
No. But then again, there are a lot of things many people couldn’t imagine happening nowadays, like the removal of Roe v. Wade. There’s still a lot of work to do.