Spice Girl Mel B Awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List

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Spice Girl Mel B Awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List

Melanie Brown–best known as Mel B or Scary Spice–has been in the industry for over three decades and is regarded by many as an icon of ’90s British music. Now she’s receiving royal recognition; only it’s not for her music.

Over the last couple of years, Brown has been working with the Charity Women’s Aid, devoting her time and her platform to helping survivors of domestic abuse in what she calls “the journey I will be on for the rest of my life.”
The New Year Honours list is a traditional way for the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom to award people for various services to the country. Over the years, several celebrities have been recipients of honors, including David Attenborough, Julie Andrews, and Maggie Smith.
Mel B
The reason for the honor varies between individuals. Sometimes it’s for services to their particular field–as when Lewis Hamilton was awarded an MBE for tying with the world record of F1 championship wins–and other times, it’s for charitable works as in the case of Brown. is the second Spice Girl to receive an Honour. In 2017 Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice) was presented with an OBE for services to the fashion industry.
Unfortunately, the story of how Brown came to receive the honor is not so light-hearted. In her 2018 memoir, Brutally Honest, Brown accused her ex-husband (film Stephen Belafonte) of having abused her mentally and physically over their ten years of marriage. Although Belafonte has denied these allegations, Brown has taken it upon herself to open up to the public about the subject of domestic abuse and her own experience.

"It can happen to anybody. It doesn't matter what color you are; it doesn't matter what you look like, what class you're from, you know, abuse can happen to anyone and everyone."

Last year, Brown appeared in neo-classical pianist and short director Fabio D’Andrea’s project “Love Should Not Hurt,” a short film/ video that centers around the story of a woman escaping from domestic violence. The video, which is available to view on YouTube, is a shocking and unflinching portrayal of the double-life and the isolation experienced by survivors of domestic abuse.
For fans of the Spice Girls, the motto “girl power” has long been a source of female empowerment. However, in her with ITV news, Brown talks about the disconnect between being on stage, being a role model for strong women while “behind closed doors, it was a different story.”
When asked by The Sun about her MBE, Brown stressed that her work has all been done for the women she’s met who have suffered and are still suffering from domestic abuse. “For me,” said Brown, “this was all about them. It still is.”

"Love Should Not Hurt" ends with a quote from the World Health Organisation that reads: "1 in 3 women globally, around 736 million are subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence from a non-partner."

That statistic will be shocking for many, and for others, it’s a stark reality. But, the fact is that domestic abuse is a problem on a scale that’s hard even to quantify, and that’s why conversations like those Brown is trying to start are so meaningful.
Melanie Brown’s has brought joy to millions and, though she’s been through nobody should ever have to go through, she’s building herself back up. She’s taken her struggle and used it to help others, and if just for that reason alone, she deserves the recognition.

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