Jesy Nelson is our woman of the hour. We just can't stop ourselves from talking about her! Jesy shot to fame back in 2011 when her and her fellow members of the girl band Little Mix, were the first group to win the X Factor.
They would soon become one of the most successful acts that the signing competition had ever seen and continue to have an ever-growing fan base. However, back in 2013, after enduring years of cyberbullying, Jesy Nelson attempted suicide. And this September this, Jesy told the full story in the documentary ‘Jesy Nelson: Odd one out’.
The pop star initially explains how as a young girl, growing up in Dagenham, she was confident and carefree, not prone to worrying about her appearance. She tells BBC 3 in the documentary that being a singer was a childhood dream. However, on the night that would change their lives forever, unlike her bandmates, Jesy’s dream had not come true. After winning the X-Factor, Jesy had received over 100 messages via Facebook, many of them consisting of abuse relating to her appearance.
One of the messages even read, "You are the ugliest thing I have seen in my life, how on earth were you put in a girl band, you deserve to die."
Nelson then exclaims, “How have I just won the X Factor and all I want to do is go back to my normal life”. Since Little Mix’s win 8 years ago, the online abuse and cyberbullying have not ceased for the singer. In the documentary, both her family and her fellow bandmates expressed their past concern for Nelson. Her mother, Janice White, explained during the documentary how she just wanted her “old jess” back, showing the detrimental effect years of bullying has had on her daughter.
Back in 2013, before Little Mix’s 2013 appearance on to the X-Factor, Nelson commented on how she has starved her self for a week before the show aired, only concerned with her appearance rather than her performance. Then after the band’s performance, Nelson was faced with even more awful comments on her weight.
Katie Hopkins, the controversial media personality, tweeted the following: "Packet Mix have still got a chubber in their ranks. Less Little Mix. More Pick n Mix.”
After seeing the abuse from Hopkins, Nelson then commented, “I could be the skinniest girl in the world and this is never going to go away”. The aftermath of Hopkins’ tweet was then described as the pinnacle point of her depression. She depicts how she would often lay in bed and express to her partner at the time how deeply unhappy she was and how she wanted to end her own life. Nelson attempted to take her own life via an overdose and was informed by her doctor if she were to take any higher of dosage, that would have been “it”.
At the end of the documentary, Nelson seems optimistic for her future and content with the progress she has made. The singer posted a picture of the ‘old’ Jesy on her Instagram account, outlining her experience of cyberbullying as well as depression.
She then ended the caption with “Now when I look in the mirror, I don’t see Jesy the fat one, I see Jesy the happy one!”
The success of Nelson’s documentary was completely unprecedented and has even broken viewing ratings for BBC 3. We are truly in awe of Jesy Nelson’s journey and are thrilled to see such a celebrity openly talk about the effects of online bullying and the true impact it can have on a person’s mental health. Having such an influential woman speak up about the pressures of social media and unrealistic expectations both young women and men experience truly demonstrates how the conversation is changing around mental health. As the only way, we can break the mental health taboo, is by talking to one other and supporting one another.
If you would like to get any more information on mental health or suicide help services then you can go to Mind or Samaritans for more advice and support.
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