Spice Girls drive for 'girl power' came from sexism in the music industry, says Mel C

Amy Johnson
·2 mins read
The Spice Girls promote Spice World the movie. (Photo by Ronald Siemoneit/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)
The Spice Girls promote Spice World the movie. (Photo by Ronald Siemoneit/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)

The Spice Girls got their motivation to champion 'girl power' after experiencing sexism in the music industry, Mel C has said.

The group's brand of female empowerment in the late 90s came about after their viability as a girl group was questioned.

Speaking to Jessie Ware on her Table Manners podcast, Sporty Spice, real name Melanie Chisholm, said: "Five girls, we wanted to be famous, we wanted to be pop stars and quite quickly we were being told that girl bands don’t sell records. You can’t be on the front cover of magazines because girls buy records by boys.

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"And we were like 'seriously, do not say that to the Spice Girls that’s like a red rag to a bull'.

Spice Girls, portrait, in the street in Paris, France, 1996. L-R Mel C, Emma Bunton, Mel B, Victoria Adams, Geri Halliwell. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)
Spice Girls, portrait, in the street in Paris, France, 1996. L-R Mel C, Emma Bunton, Mel B, Victoria Adams, Geri Halliwell. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)

"That’s when we started talking about girl power and we knew we actually had a really important point to prove, and it was great because it gave us a fire in our belly."

The lasting impact of the Spice Girls was evident during their sell-out 2019 UK tour which Chisholm embarked on with Mel B, Geri Horner and Emma Bunton while Victoria Beckham chose not to partake in the reunion.

But when it comes to modern-day role models, Chisholm reckons Billie Eilish is the one to look to.

British singer-songwriter Mel C (L) presents the International Female Solo Artist award to US singer-songwriter Billie Eilish (R) during the BRIT Awards 2020 ceremony and live show in London on February 18, 2020. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP via Getty Images)
British singer-songwriter Mel C (L) presents the International Female Solo Artist award to US singer-songwriter Billie Eilish (R) during the BRIT Awards 2020 ceremony and live show in London on February 18, 2020. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP via Getty Images)

The mother-of-one has said she established a connection with the young singer after attending a 2019 gig of Eilish's and has since described her as "what the world needs right now".

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The 18-year-old may have a close bond with the I Turn To You hitmaker but Eilish never experienced the Spice Girls monumental 90s fame firsthand as she was born in 2001, one year after the band's break-up.

In fact, the Bad Guy singer believed the fivesome were a fictional group created just for their 1997 film Spice World and didn't learnt the truth until a few years ago.