For the first time since her departure from the group in December 2020, Jesy Nelson opened up about life after leaving pop quartet Little Mix, saying that she’s content and happier than ever.
In an interview with Cosmopolitan UK published on May 4, Tuesday, the 29-year-old singer said, “Since I’ve left, I feel free. I don’t wake up with anxiety, thinking ‘I’ve got to do a music video today, I need to starve myself,’ or ‘I need to go on an extreme diet so I can look like the other three’. That was consuming me.”
Jesy admitted that being constantly compared to the other three Little Mix members took a huge toll on her. “Even recently, I was still getting compared to them. It’s horrible when you already don’t like something about yourself to then have thousands of people point it out… I can’t believe how miserable I was.” she shared.
“The last music video we did (‘Sweet Melody’) was the breaking point,” Jesy confessed. “I had a panic attack on set because I didn’t look how I wanted to look and I found it so hard to just be happy and enjoy myself. I looked at the other three and they were having the time of their life. I get so jealous, because I want to feel like that and enjoy it, because music is my passion. To have this dream and not be enjoying it because of what I look like, I know I wasn’t normal.”
Jesy also recalled having a panic attack and crying in the dressing room while filming “Sweet Melody.” “That was the pinnacle point. I was like ‘I need to start taking care of myself now, because this isn’t healthy.’ It wasn’t nice for the other three to be around someone who didn’t want to be there,” she said.
It was then that she decided to take a break from the group. “For so long, I worried about others and letting people down. The only person I should have been trying to make happy was myself, and I wasn’t doing that. I needed to do it for my mental health.”
Jesy said it wasn’t an easy decision, but she was grateful for the overwhelming response. “It was a shock. I couldn’t get over how much people were supporting me and understood. I was on a weird roller coaster of emotions. I felt sad, because it was 10 years of my life that I was giving up. I felt scared, like, ‘Shit, what’s going to happen now?’”
Now, five months later, Jesy revealed she’s “content and happy” to finally start working on her own music. “I loved the music I made with Little Mix, but it wasn’t the kind of music I listen to. It just feels so nice to be making music that I love… It’s the weirdest, best feeling in the world,” she said.
Jesy also emphasized that she didn’t quit being a singer when she left Little Mix. “I never said when I put out my statement that I was coming out of the band to never be in the public eye or perform again, or do music. I said I was coming out of the band because I genuinely couldn’t deal with the pressure of being in a girl band,” she said.
“I was constantly compared to three other girls and that mentally drove me to a really dark place, and I couldn’t put myself through that anymore,” she stressed.
Jesy added that it’s “crazy” that people think she’ll completely stop making music. “Working on my mental health is going to the studio, and creating music that I love. That’s what clears my head and makes me happy. It’s good for my mental health,” she said.
“I need to do things that make me happy now, and people might think that’s selfish but sometimes in life, you have to put yourself first, you have to love yourself, and do what makes you happy,” Jesy added.
Little Mix was formed through UK talent show The X Factor in 2011. As a group, they were known for hit singles “Black Magic,” “Secret Love Song,” “Shoutout to my Ex,” and “Touch.” After Jesy’s departure in 2020, members Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall, and Perrie Edwards continued as a 3-member group. – Rappler.com