British girl group Little Mix has just gotten a little smaller. Since their formation on The X Factor in 2011, the group has consisted of members Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson (via The Evening Standard). After nine years, Jesy is saying goodbye to the group.
The news came broke in a statement shared on Little Mix’s social media pages. A black and white photo of the ladies was shared to Instagram. “After an amazing 9 years together Jesy has made the decision to leave Little Mix. This is an incredibly sad time for all of us but we are fully supportive of Jesy,” they wrote.
“We love her very much and agree that it is so important that she does what is right for her mental health and well-being. We are still very much enjoying our Little Mix journey and the 3 of us are not ready for it to be over. We know that Jesy leaving the group is going to be really upsetting news for our fans. We love you guys so much and are so grateful for your loyalty and continued support of all of us. We’re looking forward to seeing so many of you on tour.”
Jesy shared her own statement addressing Mixers
At the same time that the Little Mix announcement went live, Jesy shared her own statement on Instagram. “The past 9 years in Little Mix has been the most incredible time of my life,” she wrote. “We have achieved things I never thought possible. From winning our first Brit Award to our sold out shows at the O2. Making friends and fans all over the world. I can’t thank you all enough from the bottom of my heart for making me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. You have always been there to support and encourage me and I will never ever forget it.”
Then, Jesy shared the reasoning behind her departure. “The truth is recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health. I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard,” she explained.
Unlike many other girl group bust-ups, Jesy and the girls of Little Mix seemed to still be in a place of love and respect. “Most of all I want to say thank you to Jade, Perrie, and Leigh-Anne for creating some of the most amazing memories I’ll never forget. I hope that you’ll continue to fulfill all of your dreams and keep on making music that people love.”
Jesy has been open about her mental health struggles
Jesy has opened up about the toll relentless social media bullying has taken on her mental health. In a September 2019 interview with The Guardian, she explained how being thrust into the limelight and declared “the biggest girl group since the Spice Girls” put a target on her back.
“I felt a rush of anxiety, because I’d never experienced anything like that in my life,” Jesy shared. “People were saying my face was deformed — just the most horrific things. I felt like I was heartbroken. I remember ringing my mum and saying: ‘Mum, I want to go home, I don’t want to do it.'”
In 2013, the agony of the bullying led Jesy to attempt suicide. “I felt that I physically couldn’t tolerate the pain any more,” she revealed. Although the rest of the group and their team were aware of what happened, it went largely unaddressed. Things went on as usual, and Jesy did what she could to stay afloat. Fans of the group are sad to see Jesy go, but glad to see that she’s taking care of herself.
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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