Mel C opens up about her eating disorder during the Spice Girls

Jennifer Savin
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Rumours of a new Spice Girls movie coming later this year left us feeling super nostalgic over our favourite 90s girlband, but singer Melanie C recently lifted the lid on how life in the group negatively impacted on her mental health. In a new interview, she shared that she struggled with an eating disorder and depression.

Speaking candidly on Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4, Mel explained that her mental health issues heightened after a "scuffle" with Victoria before the BRIT Awards in 1996, just before the band officially launched to global fame.

"We'd all had a few bevvies and on the way out there was a little scuffle between myself and Victoria. I was told if that behaviour ever happened again, then I would be out [of the band]," Mel told host Lauren Laverne. "I began to be really, really hard on myself. I think that's where the start of some of my problems came, because I had to be very, very strict with myself. I couldn't allow myself to relax because if I did, I might mess it all up."

On the subject of body image and her 'Sporty Spice' persona, Mel said, "I was described as the plain one at the back. So I tried to make myself perfect. I ended up making myself really ill. I was anorexic for a few years. I was exercising obsessively and I ended up being incredibly depressed. I was in denial.”

Photo credit: Dave Hogan - Getty Images

Mel then explained that when her GP eventually diagnosed her depression, it came as a relief and felt like "a weight had lifted off my shoulders". It was after speaking to her doctor that Mel says she started getting help and worked towards recovery.

Also in the interview, Mel discussed how Geri's departure "devastated" the group and signified the "beginning of the end". Despite their differences along the way, she also made it clear that all five members still have a lot of love for one another. “When we are on stage together we are formidable and we would kill for each other.”


Beat is the UK's leading charity dedicated to helping people with eating disorders. If you or someone you know is struggling and want to seek help, call their helpline on 0808 801 0677 or visit their website for more details.

If you're struggling with depression and need somebody to talk to, please reach out to Samaritans by calling 116 123 (their phone lines are open 24/7) or emailing jo@samaritans.org.

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