Halliwell had big dreams. Now she tells Bliss how they
almost destroyed her.
know what..." Geri whispers, "can I stop looking in
the mirror now?" She pushes her stool away from the glass
and her make-up artist stands back, surprised at Geri's sudden
Geri sits down with her back to the mirror. "That's
better," she tells me. "I don't want to look in the
mirror anymore. It's just not healthy." I'm amazed. Geri
is looking fantastic and there's no shortage of people telling
Ever since she appeared at the Brits (her 'annual school
disco' as she calls it) in a short skirt and backless top,
she's been the talk of Britain. Yet, just like you and me, she
has days when she's just not happy with the way she looks.
"I had a hard time when I was 16," Geri recalls.
"I had no boobs and started my periods later than
everyone else. I felt really inadequate. I was happiest with
my body image when I was at college. I was paying more
attention to other things so I didn't worry about my body.
"But in this industry you have to look at yourself all
the time. It's the wrong industry to get into if you have a
problem witht the way your body looks. It's no secret that I
had problems with eating when I was younger.
"I still have days when I look at my body and don't like
it. But I know now when I feel bad about the way I look, it's
more about what's going on inside. When I think I feel fat,
I'm really feeling fear."
Geri takes a sip of peppermint tea before adding, "I
binged and puked a lot when I was younger and occasionally
I've still done it. But I make the effort now to eat three
regular meals and a few snacks. I don't starve myself, I eat
healthily. I love it when I have the freedom not to worry
about the way I look. You lose out on life when you worry too
much. But I'm human and human beings aren't perfect - trust me
, I'm far from perfect."
It's hard to
believe that someone as successful as Geri has any worries.
After all, she has everything we all dream of. Fame, success,
money, talent and amazing looks. She's always dreamt of being
famous, and now she's achieved her goal.
"I've always been a dreamer. As a kid I just wanted to be
famous. I wanted a way out from where I was. But actually it
was probably a way out from how I was feeling. Now my
motivation has changed. I've stopped reading the papers. I
don't need validation of my fame from that. First and foremost
I want to feel good about myself. I want to feel like I've
done something worthwhile. That's more important now."
It's no secret that the path to Geri's solo success hasn't
"Leaving the Spice Girls was traumatic. It was like
splitting up with someone, telling them you don't want to be
witht them anymore. It's hard when you have to say that to
someone you love. I didn't want to upset them. I had a hard
time adjusting to that."
"I tried to cope with everything by myself, but now I've
learned to pick up the phone and share. It's important to me
to stay in touch with my feelings. I've got some fantastic
friends, really brilliant friends, who I feel lucky to
Geri admits it was a lonely time. She'd left her best friends,
Emma, Victoria and the two Mels, and moved on. "I'm not
lonely anymore," Geri smiles. "I still enjoy being
alone because I enjoy my own company but I don't feel lonely.
I always had good friends around me, but I guess I was a
little bit into myself. It's hard when you get consumed with
your own problems."
for years to achieve her dream. But last year she came close
to giving up on it all.
"I went through a period of pretending I wasn't famous.
When I first found fame I embraced it. But then I ended up
hating it, so I'd pretend I was ordinary. I was in complete
denial. I'd just had enough. But obviously I had to accept
that I was famous. So instead of shying away from it I
embraced it again."
All of a sudden Geri's stylist runs over. We've been chatting
for ages and it's time for Geri to get dressed for our photo
shoot. When Geri finally finds a pair of jeans that fit her
nicely, she realises they're too long. So she grabs a pair of
scissors and snips the legs off.
Within minutes there are three pairs of jeans and three tops
carefully snipped to fit Geri's small frame. She's confident
with her new look and bounds over to the photographer to start
the pictures, leaving our fashion stylist, George, to pick up
the scraps of fabric remaining from Geri's outfit.
As her new single, It's Raining Men, booms over the
speakers I spot a change in Geri. I see her transform from an
insecure girl who doesn't want to look in the mirror, into an
immaculate celeb. Geri, the normal girl, has gone and a truly
experienced professional has taken her place.
"I think I've grown up emotionally now," Geri beams.
"I'm learning to appreciate the fact that I do have
talent as an artist. That's something I never realised before.
I'm really proud of my vocals at the moment, I think I've
fine-tuned the instrument I've always had."
In between shots I spot Geri practising her dance moves for
the video for It's Raining Men. She's filming it
tomorrow and is really excited. "The video is my own
idea," Geri proudly tells me. "It's a cross between Flashdance
and Fame with lots of legwarmers! My videos are all
like little movies to me. It's a good opportunity for me to
give myself new challenges. Like learning to do the
splits...I'm not a dancer but I've learnt how to do them for
my new video."
With that Geri jumps up from her seat and slips effortlessly
into the splits, eager to show me what she can do.
"See," she laughs. I have to admit, it's definitely
Now it seems
all Geri's talents are being lined up to send her career
rocketing back into overdrive. She's releasing her new single,
It's Raining Men, this month to coincide with the
release of Bridget Jones's Diary (Geri's new single's
on the soundtrack), and she's set to release her second album
"It's Raining Men was a gift. I'd already recorded
the album, but when I was asked if I wanted to record it as a
single for the Bridget Jones movie I jumped at the
chance. It's a great song, and I loved the book. There's a bit
of Bridget Jones in all of us. We're all slaves to clothes,
weight, food, boys, work and money. We just have to make sure
that we don't allow the slaves to dictate everything in our
"But my album is a big part of me. I always write my own
lyrics and melodies. My music is just me thinking out loud.
It's totally me."
And, as if that's not enough, she's also got an acting job
lined up. "I'm doing a short film this summer. It's a
small part, but it's quirky. I was going to produce and star
in my own film, Therapy. I got financial backing but
realised it was too egoistical to do it all at once. I think I
need some more experience first."<
Despite Geri's more mature attitude, style and sound, there's
still a lot of her that remains the little girl from Watford
who grew up dreaming of fame.
"You've always got to keep dreaming, it's just that your
dreams change," she says. "My dream now is to be
successful for something I'm proud of doing, to stay in touch
with reality, to stay pleasant and most of all, to enjoy
If Geri's past form is anything to go by, somehow we don't
think it'll be long before she's made her new dream come true!
"I'm still heavily involved and I've got a new project
lined up. Going to the conference last year was one of the
highlights of my career."
"All I will say is that Robbie's a very dear friend of
"When I was with the Spice Girls I projected a very brash
side of my personality so when I left I wanted to be the
complete opposite. Now I'm somewhere in between."
"At the time, I believed with my whole heart that the
Spice Girls had worth - I still do. But if I'm really honest I
regret that I didn't do Wembley Stadium. I wouldn't change it,
but I do think it's a shame, a pity. But maybe life will give
me another chance to do that. That would be really nice."
SERENITY SUNDAY SISTERHOOD
"I've been making my own belly chains and bracelets with
my Serenity Sunday Sisterhood (SSS). Every girl should have
her own SSS. To stop the Monday blues, me and my mates all
meet up every Sunday night and get creative. We're into
beading at the moment, but you could also customise some
T-shirts. We usually whack on a trashy girlie video like Flashdance,
and put on a face mask as well."
"This is my mate, Kate. She's my self-esteem doll. I take
her everywhere. Every time I play with her, I revert to being
eight years old, I like to wake up the kid inside me."