90's All Saints Were Told To Go Topless On Prime Time TV
The Debrief: Want to know just how sexist the music industry used to be? Read All Saints' stories in disbelief
The 90s were a fun time weren't they? The Teletubbies topped the charts, Robbie Williams was a real thing that people took seriously and Kylie Jenner wasn't born yet.
While you were busy watching Mystic Meg and Gladiators though, sexism in the music industry was at a horrible high as detailed by recently returned girlband All Saints in an interview with the BBC.
Speaking about an early appearance on the now-defunct Top Of The Pops, Shaznay said, 'They were filming images of us to use as a backdrop and they wanted us to take our tops off.' Apparently the idea was to film the girls from the shoulders up to make it look like they weren't wearing any clothes.
'The vision was that we looked naked and we didn't want that vision,' Natalie added.
According to Melanie, they were told that if they didn't do it, they wouldn't get to go on the show. Their PR lady was apparently 'in tears' trying to fight their corner.
In the end, the girls compromised and dropped their tops to just below their armpits. 'We did it,' said Nicole. 'But we were stroppy about it. Again, we got labelled as being difficult.'
Because, as well as refusing to be 'sexy', All Saints were also accused of being tough to work with; an accusation their male counterparts (Liam Gallagher we're looking at you) weren't ever saddled with. 'A lot of Britpop groups at the time would act very arrogantly and very stroppy, but that was never seen as a negative thing.' Melanie said. 'We weren't half as bad. But if we didn't want to smile one day, or we weren't really interested in doing an interview, we'd be labelled as stroppy cows.'
Nice to see things have taken a change for the better.
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You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating