Nearly a decade before Blake Lively was playing Serena Van Der Woodsen in "Gossip Girl," she was impersonating another iconic blonde: Baby Spice.
She was so talented in her self-appointed role (with the platform shoes to boot) that one young fan thought she was the real deal.
On Friday, Lively took to Instagram to share a picture of herself dressed as Baby Spice (née Emma Bunton), complete with blond pigtails, at a Spice Girls concert. "Pretending to be someone else... since 1997,” she wrote, a nod to her career as an actress. "Thanks @briaaamadrid for the photo of us at the Spice Girls concert. Sorry -not sorry- I tricked you into thinking I was @emmaleebunton.”
Just when you thought the nostalgia couldn’t get any more amazing, Bunton herself commented on the photo, “So cute, you’re rocking those pigtails @blakelively.”
To which Lively — who was clearly as starstruck as any '90s girl would be if *one of the Spice Girls* slid into the comments section of our Instagram post — replied, “@emmabunton I’m officially (dead). Forever bowing down to you. I cannot believe you know who I am. This will never be normal.”
As it turns out, the origin story behind the photograph is just as adorable as the celebrity exchange it inspired. Bria Madrid, 24, — aka the adorable little girl posing with Baby Spice Blake — first shared the never-before-seen shot to her Twitter account after realizing two decades later that the stranger she posed with wasn’t the real Baby Spice, but another famous person entirely.
"Found a picture when I was 5 at my first concert. #SpiceGirls and took a picture with a girl dressed up as Baby Spice who I just realized now was @blakelively,” she wrote on Twitter. The actress discovered the post, and the rest, as the say, is fan-fiction crossover history.
According to Madrid, who was 5 years old at the time the photo was taken, she was enamored with then-unknown Blake Lively’s platform shoes. Her mom convinced her it was actually Baby Spice (her favorite Spice Girl), and she posed for the photo assuming it was the real deal. “I remember (Blake’s) reaction — she was like ‘Oh my gosh, of course!'” Madrid told TODAY Style. “And I was like, I’m taking a picture with Baby Spice.”
It wasn’t until last week when she was going through old photos that she realized that although she didn't have a photo with her childhood idol, she does have a vintage shot with one of the most famous actresses on the planet.
“So my 5-year-old self freaked out, thinking, ‘Oh my gosh I got a picture with Baby Spice,’ and now I’m 24, and I’m freaking out that this is a picture of Blake Lively/Serena Van Der Woodsen/Bridget from 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,'” Madrid said. “The whole thing is surreal."
After Lively shared the photo on Instagram, Madrid took to Twitter once again. "It’s crazy to think @blakelively even acknowledged the picture of us,” she wrote. "But I love the fact that we share the same amount of love & obsession for the #SpiceGirls AND Baby Spice commented on the picture. What is life.”
At the moment, we'd say life is "spiced up." Wouldn't you?