Girl Power Is Alive And Well In 2016

This week, two whole decades after it first aired, the Spice Girls’ classic “Wannabe” video was given a new lease of life. Global Goals have released a brand new version, in which a diverse cast of women from around the world tell you what they want, what they really, really want — equal rights.

The clip, which premiered at Cannes Lions last month, has received overwhelming support from viewers since hitting the net just in time for Wannabe’s 20th anniversary. The original Spice Girls have also praised the video, with Posh, Baby and Sporty all sharing it on social media. Victoria Beckham called it “fabulous” and “wonderful,” while Mel C said she was “flattered and honoured.”

But there’s more to #WhatIReallyReallyWant than novelty or virality; the video is a call to action, inviting women to share the goals that they want to see achieved in the name of gender equality, be it equal pay, education for girls, or an end to child marriage.

“When world leaders gather in New York in September for the UN General Assembly, we’ll be making sure they hear what people really really want for these goals — particularly for girls and women,” says Piers Bradford, Managing Director of Project Everyone.

And this wasn’t the only video to inspire a cacophony of “yaaas” online this week. Wrestling champion John Cena starred in a PSA which aired on the 4th July, and celebrated what makes the USA truly special; namely, its racial, religious and sexual diversity. The R/GA production, part of its “Love Has No Labels” campaign, amassed 7.4 million views in 24 hours, according to Digiday.

The importance of a beloved, straight, white, hypermasculine celebrity like Cena speaking up for people of colour and the LGBT community cannot be understated. And his message that real patriotism is about love, and that love transcends disability and race and gender, is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise relentlessly depressing news cycle. In fact, both Cena’s PSA and the Wannabe homage are welcome evidence that positivity, empathy, and most importantly fun, can be useful tools in making change happen.

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