Melanie C: It excites me to see strong women

Melanie Chisholm has said the issue of body image among women has improved for the better since her 1990s heyday, describing some of that decade’s models as “very skinny, emaciated”.

The 46-year-old Spice Girl said the aesthetic had changed “dramatically” since her girl group found fame with their 1996 debut album Spice.

Chisholm, best known as Sporty Spice, said many of the images people were presented with today were impossible to achieve without plastic surgery.

The singer, who recently released her self-titled eighth album, told the PA news agency: “When it comes to things like body image, the aesthetic has changed dramatically.

“When you think back to the 90s it was a time where some of the language that was used, like ‘heroin chic’ – a lot of the models were very skinny, emaciated.

“That was the aesthetic of the day. Through the 00s and up to now I have never…

“It excites me to see strong women, muscular women. That’s what people aspire to more now.

“Obviously aesthetics always change. Our culture always keeps changing.”

Chisholm, who has spoken of struggling with depression and an eating disorder during her time in the Spice Girls, added: “Social media is very difficult for this because so many images are presented to us which are unattainable or attainable through methods of plastic surgery.

“It’s an interesting area. I have seen change for the better but I think with everything there is a danger.

Spice Girls reunion tour
Spice Girls reunion tour

“Obviously, with people being a bit more body conscious people can take everything to the extreme.

“I know a lot more men who are affected now because image has become so much more of a pressure for them.”

Chisholm said she was not aware of any discussions between the Spice Girls and Glastonbury about a headline slot for 2021.

It would follow on from the group’s string of stadium shows – minus Victoria Beckham – across the UK and Ireland last year.

She said: “I’m not aware of being approached. I don’t know whether that is Chinese whispers.

“I don’t know what is going on there. But obviously we would love to do it.

“For me, as a British artist, Wembley Stadium and Glastonbury. They are the ultimate. One down one to go.”

She also addressed whether the Spice Girls would prefer to perform at the Somerset event as headliners or in the Sunday afternoon legend’s slot.

“It’s got to be a headline slot, hasn’t it?” she said.

“The legends slot is amazing but the thing about being in the Spice Girls is – the clue is in the title – we will try and keep hold of our youth for as long as we can.

“But to be honest with you, if (organiser) Michael Eavis said to me, ‘Do you want to come and DJ in my back kitchen after hours?’ I would be like, ‘I’m up for that’.”

Melanie C’s self-titled eighth album is out now.