Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson Was So Depressed After Winning ‘X-Factor’ She Attempted Suicide

Jesy Nelson is an English-born singer and entertainer, who rose to prominence as a member of the girl group Little Mix. Nelson has been in the spotlight since her late teens and has gone through her share of trying times.

In late 2019, after eight years as a member of Little Mix, Nelson began opening up about the troubles that she has experienced as a member of a high-profile girl group — and less than one year after that, she left the group. For fans of Nelson and Little Mix, her transparency about the depression that she endured has helped to shine a light on the reality of mental health issues in the entertainment industry. 

When did the group Little Mix first form?

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The singing competition show The X Factor has been indirectly responsible for launching several high-profile groups — with one of the most popular being the British girl group Little Mix. The group first formed in 2011, during the eighth season of The X Factor. The original lineup included Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson. 

Little Mix quickly became popular with fans, becoming the first girl group in the show’s eight-year history to progress past the seventh live show. Ultimately, the group dominated the competition, winning the show in December 2011.

After their emergence as victors, Little Mix began releasing multiple hit singles, including “Wings,” “Black Magic,” and “Sweet Melody.” Their early concert tours were heralded as wildly successful, and even though they were an English group, they began earning fans all over the world. 

Jesy Nelson opened up about the depression she experienced as a member of Little Mix

Jesy Nelson of Little Mix performs on stage during day 3 of Fusion Festival 2019 on September 01, 2019 in Liverpool, England.
Jesy Nelson | Joseph Okpako/WireImage

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Nelson, one of the original members of Little Mix, was no stranger to the entertainment industry by the time she started appearing on The X Factor. As a child, Nelson acted in several movies and television productions. Still, it wasn’t until 2011, as a member of Little Mix, that she really started receiving attention from critics and fans.

Over time, Nelson started struggling in the spotlight — and in 2019, she began opening up about the depression that she was experiencing. 

In September 2019, Nelson released a documentary titled Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out. In the documentary, Nelson talked about her experiences as a member of Little Mix.

“I should have been on cloud nine,” Nelson said, speaking of the moment that she found out Little Mix won The X Factor. “I was very naive…But nearly every comment (from people online) was about the way I looked: ‘She’s a fat ugly rat’; ‘How has she got in this girl group?’; ‘How is the fat one in this?'”

Nelson admitted that she began to restrict herself from eating, saying: “I’d drink Diet Coke for a solid four days and then, when I felt a bit dizzy, I’d eat a pack of ham because I knew it had no calories. Then I’d binge eat, then hate myself.”

What is Jesy Nelson doing these days?

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Jesy Nelson went on to describe how she became obsessed with reading about herself online — all of which contributed to the downfall of her mental health and her eventual eating disorder. Nelson even revealed that at her lowest point, she attempted suicide: “I felt that I physically couldn’t tolerate the pain any more.” Finally, Nelson did the only thing that she thought could help to preserve her mental health, and her life — she left Little Mix, announcing her decision in December 2020.

Since stepping away from the group, Nelson has been mostly out of the spotlight, enjoying a break from social media as well as the extreme pressures of performing for fans. Whether she could eventually return to Little Mix remains to be seen – but for now, Nelson certainly seems to be thriving.