Jesy Nelson reveals she ‘mentally bullied’ herself to 'starve' when she was in Little Mix

Jesy Nelson
(Image credit: Stills Press / Alamy Stock Photo)

Singer Jesy Nelson has opened up about how she “mentally bullied” herself to lose weight, stating she believed being “skinny” would make her happier.

The former Little Mix singer made headlines last year when she announced she was quitting the band after nine years.

Now Jesy, who recently split from her boyfriend (opens in new tab) Sean, has taken to Instagram to bravely discuss the pressures she faced during her time in the popular group. Posting a picture of herself lying on the floor of a gym with her ribs on show, Jesy’s powerful caption gave fans an insight into how she turned to exercise and extreme diets (opens in new tab) to achieve the body she thought would make her happy. 

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A photo posted by on

‘I just saw this picture pop up on my feed and it made me feel so sad,’ she wrote on Thursday. ‘On the day this picture was taken, I remember going to the gym with my manager and I stood in the mirror and I said, ‘god I’m so fat I just want my legs to be like this’ and I pulled my skin around to try and create a thigh gap because I genuinely believed that being skinny would make me happier.’

Despite her belief at the time that weight loss would help her feel better, Jesy went on to reveal that the pressure she put on herself was too intense. 

‘[E]ven when I got to a size 8 from starving myself, I still wasn’t happy. I mentally bullied myself everyday to try to please other people.It’s taken me 10 years to realise that I’m the only person I need to please.’

Little Mix seen leaving the Langham Hotel ahead of their performance of BBC Radio One Live Lounge on September 15, 2020 in London, England

She went on to explain that humans may find it ‘easy to pay other people compliments’ but ‘we find it so hard to be kind to ourselves.’ 

The singer then offered words of support and advice to anyone who was feeling like she was, stating, ‘So if you’re someone who is feeling like I was, please don’t waste years of you’re life seeking approval from others, seek approval from yourself. Be your number one fan.

This is not the first time that Jesy has opened up about the pressure she was under and how this affected her.

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In her poignant Instagram caption announcing to fans that she was leaving Little Mix, Jesy spoke of how the last nine years in the band was ‘the most incredible time' of her life

But she also delved into how being part of the popular group had ‘taken a toll on [her] mental health’. 

I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard’, she continued.  

I’m ready to embark on a new chapter in my life - I’m not sure what that is going to look like right now, but I hope you’ll still be there to support me.

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.