Victoria Beckham was on Good Morning America today promoting a new product from her Victoria Beckham Beauty line: Cheeky Posh, a cream blush stick. Let’s start at the end of the interview, which you can watch here, when Robin Roberts tells her, after she’s made a really funny joke, that “you have the most delightful sense of humour”.
This is what everyone always says, and that we’ve seen in glimpses of Victoria when she’s in her most candid moments, and on Coming to America, the documentary that she did back in 2007 when she and David relocated to Los Angeles. They’re based in London and Miami now, and there are no plans for any more reality series – even though there should be – but Victoria off-camera remains pretty elusive. Like I said, she only came out to play at the conclusion of her five-minute segment on GMA.
Before that, it was all business. And hustle. This is also what we know of Victoria: she tries, she tries so hard. And you can see all that try in most of this interview as she talks about Cheeky Posh, as she dutifully hits her key messaging for the product and the brand, including the website address. You can see the effort there and that’s the thing about VB – she’s never been effortless, she’s always been effortFULL. Which is something that a less mature, more ignorant version of me a few years ago used to knock her for, having been conditioned by the collective mythologising of the idea that “natural is better”. In this case that applies to “being a natural” at whatever it is that has to be performed. That’s not to say that I’m no longer immature or ignorant but that on this, I’ve seen a different perspective.
There’s nothing wrong with having to work at something. There’s nothing wrong with trying. There’s nothing wrong with a person who tries as hard as VB does because they care so much. And this is the key to it where VB is concerned – you see that much effort, she puts in that much try, because she cares. More than anything, probably more than even the Spice Girls, fashion and beauty is what she wants her legacy to be. “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want” is the joke she invoked at the end of her GMA interview… but it really, really does apply to her. She’s been telling us this for over a decade but they keep asking her about the Spice Girls. And it’s not that she doesn’t appreciate her time in the band and what it gave her but all of her energy now is on Victoria Beckham, the fashion and beauty house.
That’s another reason she has to try so hard. Because she knows better than anyone else what the story keeps coming back to. And she knows better than anyone else that she’s the only one then who can tell the story she wants to focus on right now.
This has become my favourite Victoria Beckham quality. She has always seen herself as an underdog. You might not see her that way but it’s how she approaches the world and her work, it determines how she interacts with the world and how she presents herself – and not from a place of false modesty. VB has many skills, but faking it has never been one of them. To me it’s her most endearing quality, even though I’ve come to it much too late.