“I felt that I physically couldn’t tolerate the pain any more."
Jesy Nelson has revealed how deeply cyberbullying affected her in the past.
The singer became part of Little Mix in 2011 after auditioning solo on The X Factor and being paired with Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards. The foursome went on to win the show.
However, after becoming part of the band, she was subjected to horrific online abuse in which her looks and weight were scrutinised.
“I was very naive,” she told The Guardian.
“I thought it would be people giving their opinion on our performance. But nearly every comment 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?'”
“I felt a rush of anxiety because I’d never experienced anything like that in my life. 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.’”
The singer explained how she became obsessed with these negative opinions online.
“I had a routine of waking up, going on Twitter, searching for the worst things I could about myself. I’d type in the search bar: ‘Jesy fat’, or ‘Jesy ugly’, and see what would come up,” she revealed.
“Sometimes I didn’t even need to do that, I’d just write ‘Jesy’ and then I’d see all the horrible things. Everyone told me to ignore it–but it was like an addiction.”
When the band returned to the X Factor in 2013 for a guest performance, Jesy had lost weight using dangerous methods of starving herself, but abuse still came her way.
“I felt that I physically couldn’t tolerate the pain any more,” she says, revealing she attempted suicide.
Thankfully, Jesy was taken to hospital and did not suffer any long-term complications.
She added that deleting her twitter was one of the best things she could do for her mental health as well as seeing a therapist more regularly.
Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out is available on 12 September from 10 am on BBC Three on iPlayer and on BBC One at 9 pm.
If you are struggling you can contact Pieta House on 1800 247 247