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The phenomenon that the girls created was referred to as "Spicemania", a reference to The Beatles' "Beatlemania", due to the success the success of their debut single and album. Since then the Girls were riding on a wave of success one after another, was unprecedented as no other girl bands before have accomplished so much success in such a small space of time. Eventually, the success had crafted them into becoming icons of the 90's.

The Union Jack dress that Geri Halliwell during her performance at 1997 Brit Awards wore has been identified with iconic status, becoming one of the most prominent symbols of 1990's pop culture. The dress was sold at a charity auction to Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas for a record £41,320, giving Halliwell the Guinness World Record for the most expensive piece of pop star clothing ever sold after interest from a frenzy of bidders. The dress was one of many items of Spice Girls memorabilia sold at the auction, where total sales reached £146,511 for charity.

The iconic symbolism of the Spice Girls in the 1990s is also attributed to their merchandising and willingness to be a part of a media-driven world. They advertised for many brands and even parodied themselves in the video for the song Spice Up Your Life, in which the band fly in a space ship surrounded by billboards and adverts featuring them. Because of their regular appearances in ads and the media, the band solidified themselves as a phenomenon — an icon of the decade and for British music. The Spice Girls ranked No. 10 in The 101 Reasons the '90s Ruled, special for TV channel E!.

Some sources revere the Spice Girls as "gay icons", especially those in the United Kingdom. In a survey in which more than 5,000 male and female homosexually-oriented individuals from the UK had voted, Victoria Beckham placed 12th and Geri Halliwell placed 43rd in the Top 50 gay icons of all time. Halliwell joked at the Video Music Awards in 1998 about her appearance as Ginger Spice: "As you have noted, I am no longer dressed like a drag queen." During an interview, Emma Bunton explained why the Spice Girls have so many gay fans:

"We were really flattered with having such a huge gay fan base because they know about fashion and they know about songs ... I'm so flattered that we've got such a huge gay following, it's amazing."

Ten years after the release of their debut single, the Spice Girls were voted the biggest cultural icons of the 1990s by 80 percent in a UK poll of 1,000 people carried out for the board game Trivial Pursuit, stating that Girl Power defined the decade.

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