JESY NELSON OF LITTLE MIX REVEALS THE TRUE COST OF FAME – WHEN IT COMES PACKAGED WITH ONLINE ABUSE AND ENDLESS TROLLING…
Jesy Nelson, a star of one of the highest grossing bands in modern history, Little Mix, has taken the brave step of addressing what it means to be a woman living in the public eye: an eye that doesn’t take well to women who don’t conform to a particular definition of beauty.
Through her BBC3 documentary ‘Odd One Out’, Jesy allows cameras into a painful realm: one in which we witness her battles with online trolls and unending verbal abuses – battles which have led her into deep depressions, eating disorders and even a suicide attempt, despite her music, voice and dances topping the charts the world over.
The process of her self-confrontation is a refreshing, direct and honest insight into how women in particular, are expected to endure abuse.
From acknowledging that Little Mix may be a part of ‘the problem’, to highlighting the role members of the press and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have played in giving abusive trolls free reign, her insights are crucial viewing for everyone and anyone who has been made to feel ‘othered’ by society.
Whilst at times difficult to watch – Jesy’s own views of herself as ‘a fat, ugly rat’, and her incapacity to be filmed without a cushion on her lap are markers of just how far she has yet to go – Jesy’s gradual ability to understand that she isn’t alone and isn’t the one at fault, proves her journey to be a hopeful one.
Equally painful to witness are the worries, concerns and sheer helplessness felt by her mother, loved ones and Littler Mix band members, each unable to help in moments when Jesy is struggling with the voices that push her to wanting to be more ‘perfect’.
Interviews with parents of those who have taken their lives as a direct result of bullying, and sitting with woman and men who have been bullied for everything – from their red hair through to their weight through to their being too tall, is a further reminder of the plethora of differences that bullies can pick on, and the endless impacts their words can have on their victims.
Here at Making Herstory, we meet many women and girls who, like Jesy, find their lives, self-image, confidence and self-belief warped by bullies online. The act of trolling and cyberbullying has yet to be treated as the grave crime it is, whilst too many media platforms permit bullies – whether they come dressed up as Katie Hopkins or as an abusive, untraceable voice with a view – a place to thrive.
A wake-up call is sorely needed.
Maybe Jesy Nelson has just provided us with it.