Jesy Nelson is getting honest about leaving Little Mix and the toll being in the successful girl group took on her mental health.
Nelson first joined the British group during “The X Factor” in 2011 as she was matched with Leigh‑Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards, when they returned to perform in 2013, a tweet from Katy Hopkins about her weight was the breaking point.
Telling The Guardian about how social media deemed her unworthy. “The first thing I read about myself was, ‘Is it me or does that girl look disabled?’ The next one said she really looks like a rat. And the next one was, ‘God her face looks deformed,’” she reacalled. “When you’ve never had any issues with your face and then realize people are saying these things about you…You think if everybody is saying it, it must be true.”
In the documenting “Odd One Out”, Thirlwall spoke of how the bullying towards Nelson just got worse: “We just had to watch this amazing funny person become like a broken doll. It was horrible.”
Nelson told the publication about how Hopkins’ comment led her to attempt suicide, saying, “I thought, what is the f**king point? I’m literally starving myself. I’ve drunk Diet Coke for a week and I’m still getting called fat. I went into a really dark place and did what I did.”
Nelson said the pressure of being part of Little Mix caused panic attacks.
“I was having these panic attacks out of nowhere. I couldn’t understand what was happening. It got to the point where I thought, this is too much – I need to come out of this now,” she said.
In December 2020, Nelson announced that she would be leaving the group.
“I know there are people who think I’ve let the other girls down, and that I’m so selfish, but it was really affecting me mentally,” Nelson said. “I do think there comes a time in life when you do have to be selfish and look after yourself, and it was really affecting me mentally.”
Nelson also expressed she hopes shows like “The X Factor” take “more responsibility” to prepare the young contestants about “what you’re about to go through.”
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.