There was a time when the Spice Girls were the undisputed queens of pop and one of the most famous groups on the planet. The band formed by Geri Halliwell, Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham dominated the music industry during the second half of the 90s based on hits and massive tours. But it seems, The enormous fame that accompanied the members was not enough for Mel B, Scary Spice, not to suffer several unpleasant episodes of discrimination due merely to their race.
This has been revealed by herself in an open letter published by the British media OK! Magazine, in which, as a result of the wave of protests that have erupted in the United States over the death of George Floyd, he wanted to narrate his particular battle against racism: “Even when I was a famous ‘Spice Girl’ around the world and I gave a concert for Prince Charles and Nelson Mandela in South Africa, a store clerk asked me to leave.”
The incident happened in 1997, when the Spice Girls were at the peak of global success, and, as Mel B has confessed, all that situation made her feel “humiliated, but not surprised”. In addition, she visited her store accompanied by her bandmates, who reacted with perplexity and indignation to the demand of the employee. “The other girls were furious and started yelling at the saleswoman. I was not shocked, I was embarrassed”. In addition, as he has also pointed out, the episode made him extremely sad to see that “in South Africa, in the post-Mandela era, there were still racist people.”
The episode in South Africa is not the only one Mel B has cited as an example of the discrimination and prejudice he has experienced over time, including his time with the Spice. “I remember when we made the ‘Wannabe’ video, we had a team of huge stylists and one of the first things they said to me was, ‘Okay, we need to straighten your hair.'”. The interpreter refused, and, as she specified, she had the support of her colleagues. “That’s what the Spice Girls were about”has reflected, “to celebrate our differences”.
The artist has also traced back to her childhood in the city of Leeds, where she assures that her mother forced her father to take her in his arms when, when walking through the park, they met certain people, “because he believed that they would not attack him if he had a baby”. He also has painful memories of his time at school. “It was then that I understood the effect my skin had on other children. Suddenly, I started getting insults that I didn’t understand. “