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Mel C reveals Girl Power was a reaction to sexism the Spice Girls encountered in the 90s

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Mel C was a reaction to the sexism the Spice Girls encountered in the music industry during their rise to fame in the nineties.

The 44-year old, who was in the monumental girl band alongside Mel B, Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton and Geri Horner (Née Halliwell), said that their famous empowering hand sign was a result of the discrimination they experienced as young women in a band, which included being snubbed from being cover stars on magazines.

‘Girl power was something that we never intended,’ she told Music Week editor Mark Sutherland at AIM’s annual Women In Music event. ‘When we started we were a pop group and we just wanted to sing and be famous and travel the world and we never really thought about that side of things at all.

Mel C reveals Girl Power was a reaction to sexism

‘But, as soon as we were heading into the music industry, we started to be faced with some sexism. We were told girls don’t sell. We would go into magazines and editors would tell us, “We can’t put you on the cover because we won’t sell enough magazines that week.”‘

The singer said that, in the true spirit of Girl Power, the sexism the band faced only spurred them on to succeed.

Mel said: ‘That really made us have a bee in our bonnets and that’s when we started talking about Girl Power. We realised we had something really important to say. It gave us even more determination to succeed because we realised very early on, we weren’t just doing it for ourselves and each other, we were doing it for girls. Being told we couldn’t do something was like a red rag to a bull to the Spice Girls.’

Mel C reveals Girl Power was a reaction to sexism

And Mel feels she can safely say that the rise of female artists since the reign of the Spice Girls is something she and the other ladies can take a little credit for.

‘In the last decade or so, the majority of the biggest artists in the world have been women. That’s never happened before. I like to think that the success of the Spice Girls opened doors for that to happen.’


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