Spice Girl Melanie Brown, famously known as Scary Spice, has spoken out on the racial abuse she suffered growing up.
The iconic pop star, who rose to fame in the late 90s, revealed details of the horrific experiences in light of the current worldwide conversation surrounding racism.
The 45-year-old from Leeds, who is mixed race, explained that growing up in a predominately white area meant she was a targeted and bullied by her school peers for the colour of her skin.
“It was really when I went to school that I understood the colour of my skin had such an effect on the other kids,” Mel, who is also a devoted advocate against domestic abuse, said.
“All of a sudden I was called all these names I didn’t understand like ‘P***’, ‘Redskin’ and obviously the N-word.
“I used to get chased home by kids shouting these names at me, so I learnt to run fast. When I was older I would always win all the races on sports day and that was because I’d learnt to run fast at such a young age,” she told the Daily Star.
Admitting that having experiences with racial discrimination continued well into her adult life, Mel recalled a particular moment during her early Spice Girls days.
“I remember when we first did the video for Wannabe we had a big styling team and one of the first things they said to me was: ‘Ok, so we need to straighten your hair’.
“I refused point-blank because my hair was my identity and yes it was different to all the other girls but that was what the Spice Girls were about – celebrating our difference.”
Mel has been using her social media platform to stand by the Black Lives Matter movement amid the anger sparked across the globe in recent weeks following the shocking death of George Floyd, a Black man from Minneapolis, USA.
The mother-of-three, took part in Black Out Tuesday last week, a day that saw millions of Instagram users post a black square on their feed to show support to the Black Lives Matter movement.
‘Black lives matter #blackouttuesday #georgefloyd,’ she wrote to her 1.5 million followers, beside a black square.