Geri Halliwell had big dreams. Now she tells Bliss how they almost destroyed her.

"You 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 move.
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 her so.
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 been easy.
"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 have."
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."


Geri worked 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 a talent!


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 in May.
"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 lives!
"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 myself."
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 mine."

"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."

"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."