It’s an image that has sent many a woman’s pulse racing – and encouraged many a man to ditch the Y-fronts and try out something more trendy.
But the seemingly ubiquitous posters and glossy adverts showing David Beckham posing in his range of pants are proving to be a turn-off for a close family friend – former Sporty Spice, Melanie Chisholm.
In a revealing and frank interview about her relationship with Victoria ‘Posh’ Beckham, Melanie says: ‘When you see David in his pants quite a lot, you think, “That’s my friend’s husband, and I really don’t want to see him in his pants.” ’
She says the continual public spotlight shining on David and Victoria and the resulting pressure on them to be fashion icons is one of the downsides of the couple’s global success.
Melanie says: ‘Brand Beckham is huge and they’ve worked so hard at building that huge empire.
Great, but there is a negative side to that.
‘I see it all the time, the endless public fascination with them.
‘I really feel for Victoria actually, because you can see whenever we meet up, she walks into a room and all eyes are on her. That’s a huge pressure.’
But she adds: ‘I think you make the decision quite early on to really nurture your profile and your relationship with the media. But the thing is, once you’ve done that it is done, and you can’t turn back.’
Melanie admits how Victoria’s determination to do her own thing led to disappointment for her and the other Spice Girls when Victoria declined to appear with them for a photoshoot at the premiere of the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever – after the thrill of their reunion at the Olympics Closing Ceremony, when they arrived on the top of black cabs to perform Wannabe and Spice Up Your Life.
‘We were disappointed that Victoria didn’t arrive with us on the red carpet at the premiere, I’m not going to lie,’ says Melanie.
‘For her that evening was about her family, and that’s what she wanted to do. But we’re all grown-ups and we’ve been through so much. If somebody wants to do something a certain way, then we are not going to kick up a fuss about it.
‘The rules of the Spice Girls are that we do really respect each other, and that’s all part of it. That’s what she wanted to do, so that’s what she did.’
She adds: ‘To have come from a pop group to be respected in the fashion world – we have so much respect for her for doing that, and she’s worked bloody hard to get there. It’s not a secret that her passions lie elsewhere. So we can’t drag her kicking and screaming, telling her, “Come on! It’s time to sing Wannabe.” ’
The relationship has not always been so supportive, however. Melanie reveals that in the early days of the Spice Girls she was threatened with being kicked out of the group after a spat with Victoria.
She recalls: ‘I remember we had been working so hard and we were let off the leash to go to the Brit Awards. I decided to take advantage of the hospitality. The more I drank the more Victoria didn’t like it until she told me not to have another drink – at which point I told her to p*** off. I was close to being out of the band.’
Since those early beginnings, Melanie has been intrigued to watch her bandmate blossom into a global fashion icon.
‘Within the band, the big personalities were Melanie [Mel B, aka Scary Spice] and Geri [Halliwell, aka Ginger]. Isn’t it funny that now the biggest star is Victoria? She’s done amazingly well.’