Geri: the real woman

'No one is ever completely satisfied with their body. That's just human nature. Whether
you're a supermodel or the fattest person in the world, everybody wants to change something
about the way they look.
'When I was preparing for this shot I found myself thinking, "Right, I'd better get on a diet and
lose some weight." But then I decided that I would be an absolute hypocrite if I tried to starve
myself to be something I'm not. I'm finally learning to accept things the way they are and just do
my best. You should never try to be anything you're not. I feel very balanced as a person now.
My body feels right, I eat right, I don't overindulge. I'm happy as long as I can fit into my clothes
and they're not too tight.
'There's nothing wrong with self-improvement: for example, going to the gym, trying to eat more
healthily or wanting to have a glamorous, slim figure. But it's a question of finding equilibrium and
avoiding extremes. It's your attitude to your body that counts. If you're overweight and happy,
that's fine - and equally, we shouldn't be prejudiced against people who are extremely thin. They
go through exactly the same doubts and insecurities as the rest of us. No one has the right to
judge anyone else.
'I have tried everything to lose weight - food combinating, not eating late at night or having a
heavy breakfast. To some degree, this works because you are conscious of what you are
consuming. I know through experience that starvation diets do not work. Anyone who starves
themselves and is skinny for a year will end up bigger than when they started because it's not their
body weight. Basically I just try to be kind to my body by not depriving myself of food and by
eating healthily. I have three meals a day and I make sure I eat plenty of protein and vegetables. I
don't watch how much I am eating, but I compromise by eating large amounts of salad.
'In the morning, I'm normally not that hungry, so I will have fruit. Then at lunch-time I'll have a
huge salad and chicken. In the evening I'll have something like fish and vegetables. But then I have
days when I just want to eat junk food, like crisps and chocolate. I think that is healthy. That is a
healthy balanced diet.
'I don't eat red meat, not because I disagree with eating meat, but because when I was younger I
couldn't afford to buy it. But I think there is nothing sexier than a woman in a restaurant ordering a
big steak. It sort of says "I love life and I am going to enjoy it". It almost symbolises power - "I
want to have my steak and eat it".
'Food has got a lot to do with love. For example, if you were ill when you were little your mother
would bring you a nice boiled egg and soldiers or hot chicken soup. At mealtimes families have
happy times or there are arguments - food can be a very emotional thing.
'Eating compulsions and disorders are just symptoms of low self-worth. It's like being a gambler
or a heroin addict - you recover as you mature and your self-confidence grows. It doesn't happen
overnight, it's a gradual process - you let go and realise there are more important things in life. We
only truly evolve as people when we dare to get to know ourselves and remove the layers we
hide behind: the make-up, the hair, the clothes, the image. You just have to do your best to sort it
'At the moment I am size ten, which is what I'm comfortable with. That is about right for someone
who is 5ft 1in. When you're small you can't carry a lot of weight.



'I know that I am of some interest to the media and realise that this had its good and bad points.
Like anybody, I'm human, and when people have criticised my body or said something nasty it
hurts. It can be quite dehumanising.
'One newspaper referred to me as Podge Spice on one page and on the next page ran a story
about the problems of anorexia and bulimia in young children. I think that's so irresponsible.
'The press can also be very good and you can use it positively. When The Sun found out about
my breast cancer scare I decided to turn it into something positive. It became an opportunity to
tell women to watch out for breast cancer. My mum told me that a ten-year-old girl read that
article and checked her chest and found a lump. It turned out to be benign, but at least the article
has educated her and encouraged her to do something about it.
'I learnt a lot from the cancer scare that I had when I was eighteen. I had to face the possibility
that even though I was young, fit and healthy I could have had my breast removed. We should
treat our body with the respect it deserves.
'I think it's good to exercise - it's really healthy for your mind and body, but it should be something
you enjoy. I love running. When I am on a running machine it's like meditating, and it's when I
have had some of my best creative ideas.
'People in LA spend a lot of money on looking good - on personal trainers and on buying the right
kinds of food and eating healthily. It costs a fortune. The average working mother hasn't got the
time to think about her diet. It takes a lot of energy to look good. It can be a waste of energy as
'The only ideal is what is ideal for you as an individual. I really don't know what I think about
plastic surgery because who can predict how I might feel in twenty years time? If I lost a breast to
breast cancer who knows what I might feel?
'I think everyone had about six roles in life. They may be a mother, a lover, a manager, a
daughter, a carer, a friend. We have on roles in out life. On stage, I am a performer - that's just
one element of my personality, and one I enjoy very much. Every day I can be someone else. I
can put on my power suit and go for it, or I can decide to put on a slinky little number. I may
decide I want to be chic, or pretty and girly. I don't like labels. They're dangerous and lazy. I was
called Sexy Spice obviously because of my past. If people find me sexy that's great. It is a mood
rather than how I see myself. It all comes down to self-esteem and hormones. I don't think
anyone wakes up in the morning and thinks, "Hey, I'm sexy today." I just get up and think about
trying to make the best of myself.
'As far as men go, you attract what you subconsciously believe you deserve. I've found my
boyfriends have improved. I think that is due to growing self-esteem.



Last night I watched It's a Wonderful Life, with James Stewart. It's one of my favourite
movies. He thinks his life is so bad that he wishes he had never been born, and he realises how
many people he touched in his life. And when you look at life like that you think, "Well, actually,
there is so much more out there that is positive and far more satisfying than your outward body
image." It is how you do it, more than what you are. That's what makes you who you are.
If you look at the bigger picture you develop a sense of humour about the whole thing. You might
think that it is a big deal, but actually it is not that important.
'It is very easy to criticise people. But life is more about people's passion rather than their ability.
Statistics show that we only recognise ten per cent of our true talents, so just imagine what could
be achieved if we loved ourselves enough to be exactly who we are. You can be the worst singer
in the world or the most inarticulate speaker, but it doesn't matter as long as you have heart. It's
more about attitude and how you project it. The best speakers, the best actors, the best
performers, the best politicians aren't necessarily the most qualified. They are the ones who are
just honest. That's what I think.




Favourite food: 'Garlic or sushi'
Favourite tipple: 'Sherry, preferably sweet When I was little I used to swig it out of my mother's
bottle. I like Jack Daniels as well.'
Favourite form of relaxation: 'Going out for a nice meal and chatting.'
Favourite holiday: 'Half of me would like just to lie on a beach and do nothing. The other half
would like to climb the Peruvian mountains, the Himalayas or something.'
Where would you like 2 be in 10 years: 'I'm still thinking. I'll just wait and see what happens.
All I know at the moment is that the future is all about my imagination.'
Who is the sexiest man u know: 'I think there are sexier women than there are men.'
Who was ur first love: 'My first love was George Michael. I used to snog a poster of him on my
wall. I thought I was going to marry him. I liked his turned-up nose.'
What's your most embarrassing moment?: 'I've had so many I don't find them embarrassing
any more. I have tripped in front of 10 000 people. I've always been clumsy and a clown - it's
just one of those things.'
Favourite shops: 'I get my clothes anywhere. I'm not a label slave. I'll pay anything from £2 to
£20 to £200 or £2,000. I love Stella McCartney . I think she is really good.'