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Why Geri Halliwell Is Instagram's New Star

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Every day this week, my friend Laura has sent me a picture of herself in a hat and it’s all because of Geri Halliwell. The former Spice Girl posted a selfie on Instagram with the caption: “Happy Friday. I got a new hat! I think it takes a bit of confidence to wear one. But I'm stepping out of my comfort zone." Laura wants to push herself so has taken on the hat challenge too. Meanwhile, thanks to Halliwell, I’ve started baking, reading books I wouldn’t usually have picked up, and have even considered making her catchphrase “Never let anyone steal your sparkle” my new Twitter description.

Halliwell high-kicked her way to fame as Ginger Spice in the 90s but now she is undergoing a renaissance on Instagram, following in the footsteps of Craig David to become the platform's latest unlikely cult star.

She came along as I was beginning to wonder if I was done with the photo sharing site. Looking at the lives of all the usual suspects – Cara Delevingne, Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift – wasn’t giving me the same voyeuristic hit they used to. Then I saw a picture of some burnt biscuits in the shape of feet that Halliwell had shared. She took a zen attitude to her mistake: “Takes all colours and sizes to make a world.” And then there are her cheery videos telling me to have a "Happy Friday."

Thanks, Gez, I WILL.

HAPPY FRIDAY. ... 😊

A video posted by Geri Horner (@therealgerihalliwell) on


Now my WhatsApp is full of screenshots from her page, known among fans as 'The G Spot', I'm basically an expert on her feed. Here’s why @TheRealGeriHalliwell will spice up your life.

Her baking

Developing a domestic side was “the biggest surprise of 2015” for Halliwell and she still seems perplexed by it. It rarely goes right for her but she perseveres and she doesn’t let a lack of ingredients thwart her ambition. Trifling matters like no pink food colouring won’t stop her making a Neapolitan loaf: “Verdict. Average stodgy." One Instagram follower, Angela Kalnis, commented: “Sorry Geri at first view I thought top pic it looked like a beef Wellington!! Can't wait to watch u on the bake off x” [sic].

Her repertoire is wide and the quotes that she shares from Dolly Parton can be applied to her baking philosophy: “You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.” She attempts Victorian recipes, using her “nutrition bullet” to cut corners, but it nearly blew up, providing plenty of drama.

It’s a refereshing break from the #cleaneating shots that dominate Instagram. There’s the occasional nod to health - a picture of her in a bikini has the caption “breathe in Mrs H, just had a spag bol."

She’s happy

Last year, aged 42, Halliwell became a spouse girl. She married Red Bull Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner and said on Instagram: “After spending the majority of my life single I married the man who I believe is perfect for me.” She and Horner play chess together (captioned “don’t rush me, I’m thinking.”)

But this mood isn’t just down to a man - she is still an ambassador for girl power: “I climbed a mountain which I found hard - I didn't think I could do it but I just kept going. Despite taking forever, I'm creating some music I look forward to sharing. And most surprisingly I started baking! You never know what life will bring.” Ain't that the truth, Mrs Horner.

Bluebell

Behind every social media maven there is an 'Instagram Husband', tirelessly capturing their loved one from every angle. Halliwell instead uses her nine-year-old daughter, Bluebell.

Bluebell has all the makings of a budding documentary film maker and is writing a play about the suffragettes (#proud). She asks all the right questions when the camera is rolling like “What are you doing Mummy?” The answer is usually baking. I wonder if Bluebell was used to film this superb video of Geri writing her next opus, which is about as exciting as it sounds.

She’s not perfect

Halliwell is far more relatable than her former colleague Victoria Beckham. Sure Beckham’s Instagram befits someone who used to go by the nickname Posh Spice with pictures of her minimalist fashion line and her beautiful family but I’d rather look at Halliwell dressed up like Katniss Everdeen.

She hasn’t forgotten her roots

There are plenty of vintage Spice Girls shots: “We look back on old friends and think Awh.” There’s also a picture of Simon Cowell, who she was a judge on X Factor with in 2012, and his baby in matching sunglasses: “cute.”

She listens to feedback

Her husband told her to “tweet something other than bacon, you look like a glutton,” so she posted a picture of a greeting card with a smiling girl on it saying: “I love you more than cheese x.”

She recommends good books

When she posted a picture of The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, I bought a copy. I was not alone – there was a spirited discussion of the plot in the comments underneath her snap, like an Instabook club.

Her crew

Mostly Halliwell is family and dog-based but there is the occasional celebrity cameo. Her first ever picture, from nearly a year ago, is her and Ricky Gervais “having such a laugh” on a Norwegian television show. Other pals include Keith Lemon - they danced together for Comic Relief (“such fun”) and the Great British Bake Off’s Nadiya Hussain: (“I can't to wait to tell My daughter Bluebell I met NADIA.”)

The closest she comes to parties is blasting out "Love Generation" in the kitchen and dancing with a treacle sponge she made, with the dog looking on, but she does understand the importance of dressing up as Cinderella: “Sometimes u want to feel like a princess, and why not.”

She gives good inspirational quote

Halliwell has a consistent Instabrand and since she started the feed 47 weeks ago, she has done a good line in quotes. Handwritten messages say things like “Have you any idea how loved you are?” or “What the world needs is a great big group hug.” She also shares her own experience: “18 years ago I was told by my stylist don’t wear the union jack dress. Reminder - listen to your heart.” Just imagine how much Union Jack merch the world could have missed out on, not to mention body ink...
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