The fact Melanie Brown was once known as "Scary Spice" says a lot about her personality. She's fearless, funny, and, at times, a bit in-your-face. Remember that sweet little nickname she once used for her ex Eddie Murphy?
But these days, the former Spice Girl is also somewhat more traditional. She's all about her fam, which includes her husband, producer Stephen Belafonte, her girls, 11-year-old Phoenix Chi (with ex-husband Jimmy Gulzar) and 3-year-old Angel Iris (with Murphy), and Belafonte's 6-year-old daughter Giselle (with ex-girlfriend Nicole Contreras).
We'll all get a glimpse of what her post-pop star life is like in September when her modern family stars in the Style Network reality series, "Mel B: It's a Scary World," and you can catch her currently hosting Oxygen's competition show "Dance Your A** Off" on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Meanwhile, I chatted with the brash Brit about how motherhood has challenged her and how it's affected her fun and funky personal style.
"You know, I try and do a lot of my work when my kids are at school," she said, moments after disciplining her daughters on the other end of the phone line. "I'm always the one doing the morning run, and then we always sit down at 6 o'clock for a big family dinner. I'm all about routine, and, you know, just making your family as tight as possible."
One of Mel B's most trusted tricks to balancing mommyhood and her busy career? Taking her little ones to work. "I do the live taping of ['Dance Your A** Off'] every Thursday, so when they finish school, they come out for a few hours, and they get to see all the dancers rehearse, and then they're home in bed at 7:30, 8 o'clock," she said.
Since the show is all about being your best self -- it's a cross between "The Biggest Loser" and "Dancing With the Stars" -- I asked Mel how she's passing on the uber-confidence she projects to her daughters, especially as they grow up in the Hollywood spotlight. "I just think you can set by example," she answered. "I'm a pretty confident person, and if I don't like something, then I'll change it, whether it be my hairstyle, whether it be 'oh my god, I need to get my legs a little bit slimmer.' You know, my kids will see me working out."
Speaking of working out, Mel once famously revealed she maintains her svelte physique with good, old fashioned sweat, i.e. having sex five times a day! When I talked to her just after 10 a.m., she joked it had only been twice that day. "I [also] have a great gym in my house, and when I get bored of that, I'll go take some workout classes," she added.
When it comes to wardrobe, Mel said her fashion philosophy is simple: take what you love on your fashion faves -- Gwen Stefani, Rachel McAdams, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna for her -- and spike it with your personal style. "You know, I'm 35, and I always say to myself, 'Well, if I can't do it now, when can I do it?' So I just do it." Which explains that daring shaved 'do (which matched those of her daughters) that the "Mum Spice" sported earlier this year.
"It definitely makes life more colorful [having children], so I think my wardrobe has become more colorful," Mel explained. "I think kids are great. I love being a mom. If it wasn't for being part of the Spice Girls, I would've definitely had kids a lot earlier. So, yeah, I'm just really enjoying it."