Jesy Nelson has admitted she “felt trapped” and “couldn’t switch off” when she was part of the Little Mix “machine”.
During an appearance on the Reign with Josh Smith podcast, the singer, who quit the girl group in December, revealed that she is enjoying having more freedom with her imminent solo career as she can make her own decisions and no longer feels forced into wearing something she’s not comfortable with because she’ll be compared to her bandmates Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall.
“I don’t think people realise how hard it is to be in a girl band,” she said. “When it came to little things, like if we had to do a video and everyone had to wear bikinis and I didn’t want to wear a bikini because I felt like s**t, I couldn’t not. Because then if I was to wear, I don’t know, trousers and a top, people would be like, ‘Why is Jesy wearing trousers and a top?’ And then I would get loads of s**t for it.
“It’s just the little things like that, that would make me feel trapped. And I know that can sound quite dramatic, but I feel like unless you’re in it, you won’t ever understand it. And it was just the constant comparison every single day that was hard and that eventually, after 10 years, takes a massive toll on your mental health.”
The 30-year-old also explained that she wasn’t able to switch off from work as the Little Mix “machine” never stops.
“I feel like now I’ve obviously got a lot more freedom. Being in Little Mix is literally like a machine. You don’t have any time off. You can’t switch off,” she shared. “Even when you go home, your phone is constantly going off about work and your life is planned out.”
Jesy added that while she has “the most incredible memories” from her time in the band and still sees the trio as her “sisters”, she was “very unhappy” during those 10 years and needed to leave and do what makes her happy.