Surprise is the spice of life. But that doesn’t mean Victoria Beckham doesn’t occasionally look back and reflect on her teen years.
As part of her October cover story for British Vogue, which hits newsstands Sept. 8, the posh Spice Girl penned a lengthy letter to her 18-year-old self, entitled What I wish I’d known.
"I know you are struggling right now," Beckham writes in an empathetic nod to the body image issues she grappled with as a teen. "You are not the prettiest, or the thinnest, or the best at dancing at the Laine Theatre Arts college. You have never properly fitted in, although you are sharing your Surrey school digs with really nice girls. You have bad acne. You think the Principal has put you at the back of the end-of-year show (in a humiliatingly bright purple Lycra leotard) because you are too plump to go at the front. (This may or may not be true.)"
Beckham then assures her younger self that she will soon find an outlet through fashion. "You are going to have so much fun with your clothes – PVC catsuits, chokers that say absurd things, weird spiky blonde hair," she promises. "It will never occur to you that you appear ridiculous. You will turn up at awards ceremonies resembling a drag queen. But I look back at you and smile. It will add interest to your life to go from one extreme to another. I love the fact that you will feel free to express yourself."
"Fashion will take on added stature one day, but try not to be stifled by it," the designer, whose label won the British Luxury Brand of the Year award in 2015, cautions. "You will learn, as you mature, to swap heels for Stan Smith trainers, minidresses for crisp white shirts. And you will never be one of those people who just roll out of bed."
But she will be one of those people who falls in love at first sight. And, as Beckham explains, her 18-year-old self would do well to learn more about football.
"Especially the offside rule," Beckham says, teasing her husband's former profession.
"And yes, love at first sight does exist," she continues. "It will happen to you in the Manchester United players’ lounge – although you will get a little drunk, so exact details are hazy. While the other football players stand at the bar drinking with their mates, you will see David standing aside with his family. (He’s not even in the first team at this stage – you are the famous one.) And he has such a cute smile. You, too, are close to your family, and you will think how similar he feels to you. He’s going to ask for your number. (He still has the London-to-Manchester plane ticket on which you wrote it.)"