It’s been another stressful week in the life of Victoria Beckham. While trying to negotiate being a bad-ass fashion designer and schmoozing with all the right people at London Fashion Week, the mum-of-four has been contending with backlash against son Cruz’s magazine cover debut, as well as pressure to reunite with the Spice Girls for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in June. All the usual problems of a 40-something working mum, right?
The Beckham family celebrated third child Cruz’s 17th birthday last week, sharing a series of images from a photo shoot he did with edgy i-D magazine. Now, there comes a significant time in every Beckham child’s life when they are officially launched to the world. Oldest son Brooklyn had his a few years ago with his not-so-successful photography career, Romeo followed with his tennis-turned-football dream, and now Cruz has had his turn, making his cover debut.
David shared the photo shoot images telling his 71m followers he was “such a proud dad” and that the shoot was “so cool”, while thrilled mum Victoria wrote, “Big first day as a 17-year-old!” But the family wasn’t expecting the backlash that followed the publication of the photos, which saw Cruz posing topless with his trousers pulled down around his ankles on the cover, as well as one showing him grabbing his crotch and another with his finger in his mouth while wearing a string vest. Beckham fans branded the provocative images “disturbing”, with one commenting, “Imagine if it was a girl! Everyone would call it out, these pictures are not in good taste for a 17 year old.”
An insider close to David and Victoria – who are also parents to ten-year-old Harper – tells heat they were taken aback by the response and the criticism that they’d gone too far promoting their child in this way. Victoria is understandably always devastated if there is any hint of her being a bad parent, as her kids are her life.
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“Cruz has had so many offers, and this was all his decision, with input from his brothers and mates rather than his parents. Victoria had actually been a little concerned over it and did wonder about the look, but the magazine is edgy, and this is what they wanted – and Cruz was all for it,” we’re told of the shoot, which was inspired by similar images of David in 2000, also taken by renowned photographer Steven Klein.
“Victoria and David are disappointed by the negativity of the comments, while Cruz is a little shaken by it all. It’s his first experience of being in the spotlight, and while he’s a tough cookie, he’s been knocked by this. His parents are doing their best to reassure him, but are also telling him that if this is a path he chooses, then he will probably have to deal with a lot of negativity.”
In the interview, Cruz announced he had decided to pursue music as a career, although he is yet to release anything.
“I don’t think you ever stop learning, but I’m taking my time seeing what happens,” he said in the magazine, adding that for now, his focus is on “just making the music I love”.
And we’re told this latest Beckham family launch has been in the works for a while. “Victoria has been planning Cruz’s debut for a long time,” our insider reveals. “After the experiences with Brooklyn, they really wanted to play it differently with Cruz and make sure he was working on his talent and had a vision and direction before launching him. But this backlash has panicked and upset her. She knows you can’t please everyone – she is only too familiar – but now she’s got to help him deal with this.”
Cruz spent the majority of last week ignoring the backlash while on a skiing holiday with his younger sister, and dad David. Victoria was unable to join her family on the holiday – David shared a loving, “miss you, Mummy” Instagram story from him and the kids – as her schedule was chock-a-block with fancy engagements.
As well as sitting front row at London Fashion Week alongside Romeo’s model girlfriend Mia Regan, Victoria attended British Vogue Editor Edward Enninful’s lavish wedding held at Longleat House. Wearing a white gown (as only Victoria could), the designer enjoyed the occasion surrounded by friends and colleagues from the industry. Victoria has spent years carving out her place in the fashion world and leaving her pop days behind her, so the 47 year old was feeling the pressure last week as her fellow Spice Girls tried to convince her yet again to reunite with them.
Our source says, “With the Spice Girls due to be headlining the Queen’s big Jubilee concert later this year, Posh is now in the spotlight as her former bandmates are begging her to agree to perform alongside them. Despite her swearing she never wanted to be a performing Spice Girl again, this is a different kind of pressure. Everyone – including her own kids, who are so excited – is begging her daily to get back on the stage.”
But we’re told the former singer – who last performed with the group at the 2012 London Olympics – is worried she’d be widely mocked.
“Ever since the Spice Girls were approached to perform, the pitch always included Victoria. Initially, she said no and didn’t even enter discussions about it. But there is a lot of pressure on her and she’s in a total spin over it,” our source shares.
“Part of her would love to be involved in what is going to be an amazing celebration of the Queen and Great Britain, but she’s also so reluctant to step back onto the stage and thinks it could open her up to ridicule. Also, she knows how it will take over her life and drag her back to a chapter that she chose to move on from.”
The rumours that she will rejoin her bandmates were fuelled last week when Victoria filed documents with Companies House confirming she will be an active director of Spice Girls Ltd for at least another year. But, our source continues, “She doesn’t really want to be known as a Spice Girl again, not after all of the hard work she’s done to build up a business empire – she feels it downgrades her. But even David is saying it could be really great for her to go out and show her fun side again. It’s a real dilemma for her.”