Almost two decades after charging onto the pop music scene as one-fifth of the mega-popular Spice Girls, Melanie Chisholm, aka Mel C, is opening up about the darker underside of fame and the pressure to be the “perfect” pop star.
“Sporty Spice,” who revealed last year that she developed an eating disorder while in the famous girl group, is now admitting she also battled depression and “exercised obsessively” back in her Spice Girl days.
Speaking to the Telegraph in its Mad World podcast, the “Wannabe” hitmaker talked about being diagnosed with depression just a few months after the big hit debuted at the top of the charts.
“It’s something that completely turned your world upside down and it was a fantasy, it was a fairytale, and it was something that I’d always wanted. I thought I had to be a certain way to be deserving of everything that was happening to me,” the singer said of how she turned to an eating disorder while dealing with the intense pressure of fame. “To be a pop star I had to be perfect, and that was my way of trying to achieve perfection.”
Fueled by feelings of inadequacy, Chisholm made many unhealthy choices at the time. “I’d never starved myself, but I wasn’t eating properly and I was exercising obsessively. All of my time with the Spice Girls, I think I was probably living on adrenaline,” she said. “God only knows how I got through it, and I think my body just got to the point where it was like—enough.”
The “Spice Up Your Life” songstress also dished on feeling “relief” when she was finally diagnosed with depression by her doctor after seeking time away from the limelight on a family trip.
“I felt so relieved because I just thought, oh my God, it’s got a name, it’s something. I can be helped,” Chisholm, who would later go on to forge a successful solo career, admitted. “You know, it was such a relief to me.”
While she has experienced relapses with depression, Chisholm knows the value of seeking help from “friends, family, professionals, or online forums.”