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October 6, 2010

MarieClaire.com Exclusive: Victoria Beckham Tells All

In this web exclusive, Victoria opens up about her husband, kids, and leaving those spicy days behind her. For more, read our profile here and check out behind-the-scenes photos from our November cover shoot.

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Photo Credit: Ruven Afanador

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Kevin Sessums: Do you look back at “Posh Spice” and see her as another of your children at this point? Is she the daughter you haven’t had yet?

Victoria Beckham: I do look back and am grateful for what I achieved and for those girls in my life. But people are referring less and less to that time and it feels good. I think I’ve finally made the transition—I am now going into my sixth season as a designer—and all that feels like a hundred years ago. But the Spice Girls do seem to live on and on. Maybe that’s because we had a political message that still reverberates. Girl power. Strong women.

KS: Jennifer Lopez is one of your best friends and Simon Fuller, who is your business partner in your fashion business, is the creator of American Idol. Were you instrumental in getting JLo her new job as a judge this season?

VB: Simon did ask me about her, if I knew her. But, no, I had nothing to do with all that.

KS: You were great as a guest judge last season. I was hoping you would get the job because you not only could fill the female chair, but you could also supply some of that brittle Britishness that will be lacking now that Simon Cowell is gone. You'd have been a two-fer.

VB: It just not something I could have done. I have to travel to do my work. That job is a huge commitment.

KS: You've known Simon Fuller a very long time. He discovered you and put you in the Spice Girls. Do you miss the adulation of your Spice Girl days?

VB: God no. People I respect complimenting me on my work in fashion is more exciting to me than anything I ever achieved as a Spice Girl. I am now competing in an arena where I can hold my head high. I feel quite confident in what I'm doing now , much more than the singing. I was never going to give Mariah Carey any competition.

KS: Is it true that when you auditioned for the Spice Girls that instead of doing a Madonna number or something by, say Cyndi Lauper back then, you performed “Mein Herr” from Cabaret?

VB: Entirely true. But does that surprise you? If nothing else, that alone proves I’m a gay man in a woman’s body.

KS: Well, you’ve got the fashion world pretty much covered then. Seriously, you’ve really hung in there and proved yourself as someone deserving to be considered a designer. Your status as a celebrity enabled you to get your name on a label, no doubt, but that same status can cause others to treat you as a kind of joke.

VB: I have always loved fashion since I was a kid and customized my school uniforms. This line has been a lifetime in the making. But more than anyone, I am aware of the preconceptions. I was a Spice Girl. I’m married to a footballer. I completely get it.

Marc Jacobs once told me something I’ve always lived by. I asked him who he considered his competition. ‘I don’t have competition,’ he told me. ‘My competition is myself from the season before.’ I’ll admit it: I’m a control freak. I am. If I’m going to do something I’m going to do it 110% or there’s no point in doing it at all, especially if the work takes me away from time with my husband and children. I’m finally just doing what I like. I put the clothes on and I look in the mirror and I think, would I wear this? I’m not worried about what’s in fashion, what’s not in fashion, what are the colors of the season. I go with my gut instinct because every time I haven’t it’s been a mistake. I can live with my own mistakes. I can’t live with anybody else’s.

KS: Is fame just another frock you can put on while looking at yourself in that mirror, or has it seeped into your DNA?

VB: Someone said to me once that fame is not like a jacket. You can’t put it on and then take it off. Sometimes it’s frustrating if I’m out with the kids and have to deal with the paparazzi. That comes with it though. But it was fun becoming famous. I mean, I even wanted to one of the kids in FAME when I was growing up. To sing and dance on the top of a taxi cab in NY—I was so there. Though the posters on my wall were of Mikhail Baryshnikov because my truest dream was to be a classical dancer. I’ve been in the public eye now for about 15 or 16 years and I’m very aware that fame is not a given. I have to maintain it. It’s not just something that will always be there. But I’ve always been a worker. I’ve never expected be given anything.

KS: You mentioned your children. Brooklyn is 11 now. Romeo is 8. Cruz is 4. How has being a mother changed you?

VB: Hmm .... well, you know when you get a TV you get a manual? Well, there isn’t one for motherhood. I’m constantly trying to figure it out and questioning whether I’m doing it right. But I’m so proud my kids. They are very well-mannered. We’ve always been very strict with the kids. That’s the way David and myself were brought up. But they’re free spirits as well. They laugh. They joke. They have fantastic personalities. I love hanging out with them.

The other day we got up early to have breakfast and I was teaching them about American money. I had Post-Its on all the breakfast cereal. On the bread. On the milk. I got a box of fake money from Toys’R’Us. ‘All right,’ I told them at 6 a.m. ‘We’re going to learn about American money. I’m going to make you buy your breakfast.’ I hand them all a bit of the money. They were all just waking up and going, ‘Mum, we just want our Coco Puffs.’ And I’m going, ‘Coco Puffs! Cost one dollar twenty!’

KS: And the marriage is still strong?

VB: We are still so close, David and I. We were at a party the other day at my mum’s house and I was sitting on his lap. We’re very affectionate. And I looked at him and thought after being married for 11 years! We were the only couple who were even near each other at that party. We’re soul mates.

KS: What does David want to do when he retires from soccer?

VB: He’s a good businessman. Got a good brain on his shoulders. He’s a phenomenally good photographer. Nobody really knows that about him. There’s a very interesting plan for him in the future that we’re mapping out. But he’s got a few more good years in him as a soccer player.

KS: I read on the British Vogue website that he’s going to be designing menswear for your label.

VB: That’s rubbish. I don’t know where that came from. But you’ve read all the rumors about me. Some people aren’t satisfied that I’m a gay man in a woman’s body and swear that I’m secretly a real boy. Let’s clear that one up. I’m a real woman. Okay? Before I became famous I used to think there’s no smoke without fire. But believe me, there can be a fire without smoke.

KS: You certainly are a real woman. I am surprised to say this but you’re one of the “real-est” women I’ve ever been around. I wasn’t expecting that. I was expecting a bit of a diva who kept her distance. That ain’t you.

VB: Some people are so blasé about having an extraordinary life. But David and I never take anything for granted. I think it’s very cool to still get excited about things. I get as excited now as I ever did when I get a chauffeur driven car pick me up and I stay in a fantastic hotel or get to fly in a private plane. I never want to get blasé.

KS: And you’ve never looked more beautiful. How old are you now?

VB: Thirty-six.

KS: Any secrets to looking this good? Any plastic surgeon numbers you’d like to share?

VB: I take care of myself. I work out every day. I eat healthy. But I like to have fun too. I’m not going to say no to a glass of wine, let’s put it that way. But God! People in this business are obsessed with youth. I can understand it when you constantly see pictures of yourself in the press. But I do seem to be the only person I know who is getting older. Most famous people get younger and younger. I sometimes ask myself that question: ‘How come I’m the only person who’s getting older?’ But I’m cool with that. I read once that elegance is a privilege of age. I thought, that’s so true. You get more comfortable with yourself as you get older.


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