Life as a Little Mix pop star wasn’t such a Sweet Melody after all…
In fact, Jesy Nelson, who quit the girl band in December, just revealed filming the music video for that very single was the reason she left the band! What??
It’s a bit more complicated than that, but the experience of shooting Sweet Melody definitely raised a red flag to all those around her. In a new interview with Cosmopolitan UK, the 29-year-old singer finally broke her silence on the departure from the popular British group and also discussed hopes for the future!
Chatting about the vid (snapshots above), Nelson explained it was her first time on set amid the pandemic. Looking back on her unusual break, the X Factor alum realized the downtime spent with her friends and family during quarantine were some of her “happiest” moments ever! She shared:
“We’d been in lockdown, and it was the first time I could have a break and be at home around people that I love. It was the happiest I’d ever felt and I didn’t realize that until I went back to work. I immediately became a different person.”
This new persona was in large part due to her plummeting mental health as a member of the girl group, as she elaborated:
“I had anxiety. Whenever we have a music video I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to try and lose weight. I have a fear of looking back on the camera. If I don’t like what I see, I find it so hard to be in front of the camera and feel amazing and perform.”
While filming always led to anxiety, it was the experience of having to suddenly be sexy for the camera after having been shut away from the world for so long that really triggered her, especially after struggling with body image issues:
“I was bigger than the other three, and there’s never really been that in a girl group. I was classed as the obese, fat one.”
The English singer continued:
“I’d been in lockdown, and I’d put on a bit of weight but I didn’t care. And they said, ‘you’ve got a music video in a couple of weeks’ and I just panicked. I went on this extreme diet, with bloody shakes, and tried to eat as little as possible. On the day of the Sweet Melody video 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.”
As for actually hitting the end of her rope? The cover girl admitted she literally “broke down” on set!
“There’s a scene in Sweet Melody I’m not in because that’s when I had a panic attack and broke down. I was like, ‘I just want to go home.’ I was sobbing in the dressing room. Someone really close to me said, ‘This has got to stop. You can’t keep doing this to yourself. You’re going to end up where you were before.’”
The music industry can be so tough on young women, so it’s no surprise Jesy struggled with her body and visual appearance, but we really hate to see this pressure destroy something that was once so good.
Despite the breakdown, Jesy didn’t quit Little Mix immediately — as fans will surely remember. In November, the singer hit pause on public appearances while on a “private medical leave,” which she now explained:
“For me 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. So I took a break.”
The songwriter also shared she was in pure “shock” over how “lovely” the response to her exit was. In fact, Jesy prematurely blocked comments on social media so not to worsen her mental health, but upon a suggestion of her sister, turned them back on to see fans were wishing her well.
“I turned on my comments and just sat in bed and cried because I was overwhelmed with how lovely everyone was being.”
Aww, how sweet!! That’s the right reaction for fans to have, especially since it’s not like she’s going anywhere music-wise. Addressing some followers’ frustration that she’s back in the studio, Jesy admitted:
“I feel like there’s been a few people who don’t understand why I left Little Mix but am now in the studio making music. A lot of people said, ‘I thought you came out of the band to focus on your mental health?’ I never said when I put out my statement, that I was coming out of the band to never be in the public eye, 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.”
It makes a big difference when you’re in full control over your career and lifestyle! Who knew the pandemic could have such a positive outcome for the performer? After nearly 10 years of success with the girl group, Jesy now says she’s “free.” Free from stress, anxiety, and pressures she thought were just the side effect of “life” but were really the insane and unhealthy pressures of being in a girl band.
“I didn’t know that I could be this happy. I thought when I was in the group that it was just normal to feel that way. And because I’d felt like that for 10 years, I just thought, ‘This is life.’ 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.”
Wow!! Reactions, Perezcious readers? You can read the full interview HERE and sound OFF in the comments (below)!