Melanie Chisholm – known as Mel C – has spoken candidly about the reality of being in one of the most successful groups in the world.
The Widnes-born star was 1/5th in the Spice Girls, along with Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown (Mel B), Emma Bunton and Geri Halliwell.
Formed in 1994, they have sold millions of records worldwide and even recorded their own film, but their fame also had a downside.
Mel C, also known as Sporty Spice, has sold over 100 million records both in her solo career and with the band, making her one of the most successful musicians of all time – but she’s also struggled a lot behind closed doors.
Speaking on Steven Bartlett’s Diary Of A CEO podcast, the singer recalled the early days of the Spice Girls and how “blessed” she felt, but admitted there was a lot of pressure from “brutal” tabloids calling her “horrible things” called.
Derogatory labels in the press dubbed her “Sumo Spice” and claimed she was “not talented enough” or too “loud” which ultimately led to her becoming “very, very sick”. in 2003.
“Getting comments was a big part of this journey,” she recalled, while discussing her obsession with exercising and feeling out of control of her eating habits.
She got teary and told the Dragon’s Den star, “It’s really hard, you know. I always get to that point where there’s an element of guilt attached to my success and I think that’s compounded by people who say, “Well, you’re famous, you put yourself in that position,” but the people who want to be famous are probably the ones who are least equipped to handle it.
“We’re looking for acceptance and love and adoration, and being so vulnerable and putting yourself in that position only to be criticized is a bad combination.”
Mel was later diagnosed with depression by a doctor while also struggling with binge eating.
“I felt like I was going out of my mind, I felt like I was actually going insane,” she shared, admitting she “didn’t have the words” to describe how she felt to a pro.
When the doctor told her she was suffering from depression, Mel felt like she “had lost a weight” as she learned the name for what she was going through and realized that “it can be treated.”
But her depression didn’t just go away, as she added: “My biggest fear is that really overwhelming depression that you doubt you can get through.”
Discussing life after the Spice Girls (Mel was quick to note that they haven’t officially “broke up”), she said the rest of the girls are aware of their “demons” and that she’s “having a really hard time.” . when they were working on their third album “Forever” and finally decided to take a break.
However, her decision not to announce a formal breakup came out of her “fear” of “press interference.”
“I was on a TV show with Frank Skinner once and I said in the past tense, ‘When I was a Spice Girl,’ or whatever I put it, and the press jumped on it and there were camera crews outside my house and they and them chased me down the street and yeah none of us could take it.
But she said the “beauty” of this time apart meant that each member could work on themselves and “become individuals,” as did mothers, so that now when they get back together, they “really enjoy and respect each other.”
“We’ve always been the Spice Girls, we always will be be the Spice Girls. When people say I’m a “former Spice Girl,” I think so am a Spice Girl,’ Mel explained proudly.
‘We will Everyone always be Spice Girls, even Victoria. Even when she wasn’t on stage in 2019 (when the band were doing their reunion tour), she was still a very important part of our friendship.”
Mel said fashion designer Victoria (Posh Spice) was “very supportive” of the band getting back together this year despite not wanting to perform herself, and that it’s “really important for us to make sure she’s happy”.
The wannabe hitmaker added that it’s been an “incredible experience” performing again for her fans, and with rumors of another reunion on the horizon, we wonder if it really couldn’t be that long before the Spice Girls swing, tremble, move and make it back on stage.
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