First and foremost: I love Posh. I think she is a delight. Back in the day, when she first started her fashion line, she showed her clothes in VERY small salons — two showings, each with about 30 writers and editors invited to attend — and I was lucky enough to get to go to a few of them when I was working for New York.  As I have said here before — and wrote then — she was lovely. Warm and funny, and she definitely knew what she was talking about. Doing it this way was a stroke of marketing genius: She’s super likeable in person, so greeting and chatting with writers who might have had their doubts about her was a good way to get us on her side, and because she was knowledgable about the clothing itself, she didn’t seem like some celebrity dilettante.  I remember Joe Zee, who was still at Elle at the time, introduced me to her and said, “her website LOVES YOU,” and she laughed and squeezed my hand and said, “Oh! I think you’re the only one!” The fact that her clothes were quite good and not, like, pleather halter tops paired with maxi-skirts made of ties is obviously a huge reason why her line is legitimately successful, but her own personal charm made everyone more likely to leave those early shows and go back to the office and be like, “Posh Spice is GREAT, you guys!” and liking someone makes you — even subconsciously — more likely to give them good press. It was smart. (They also served mimosas, and back in the day, it wasn’t NYFW if you weren’t getting champagne shoved in your hand at every show from 10am onward, so maybe we were also all a little drunk.)

ALL THAT SAID. My theory about this cover is that Laura Brown, the newish InStyle EIC (who is very cool and Australian and great), knows this about Victoria and wanted to bring it to the cover — her warmth, her humor, the fact that she really loves this side of her own face for whatever reason (both sides of your face are fine, Posh!). And I think this is close! She looks natural, and that hair is the best on her, and that Spice Girls quote in the headline makes me happy. She looks…mostly fairly happy, for someone whose Resting Face is of the Bitch Variety (as is my own). But I swear to God, her eyes are saying, “this is as much of a smile as you’re going to get, so please don’t ask me to show you any teeth. WE HAD A DEAL.”