It’s been a busy month for the biggest girl band in the world. In a span of weeks, the British trio Little Mix dropped a new version of their hit song “Confetti” now featuring Saweetie, they announced that two members are pregnant, AND they’ve made history at the Brit Awards! But it’s not all roses for the biggest girl group in the world. So join us while we discuss Little Mix and the pressures of being a girl group.
Little Mix became the first all-female group to win Best British Group at the 2021 Brit Awards on May 11th. Singers Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall, and Perrie Edwards were visibly elated as they took to the stage to accept their award. They used their acceptance speech to not only recognize the female performers who came before them but also call out injustices in the music industry including white male dominance, sexism, and lack of diversity.
The band have been together since their inception on the British X Factor in 2011 where they became the first female group to ever win the competition. In the decade since, Little Mix have amassed five triple-platinum records and 60 million record sales worldwide, making them the best-selling girl group in the world. While singer Jesy Nelson departed the group in December 2020, Little Mix are still going strong.
Even with all these accolades, Little Mix aren’t immune to sexism within the industry. Based on their moving speech at the Brit Awards, it’s apparent that they’re using their platform to call out injustices and advocate for equality, now more than ever.
In this episode we discuss the highs and lows of Little Mix’s career including being cyber-bullied, fat-shamed and slut-shamed, which ultimately led them to advocate for women’s empowerment and speak out on other issues like racism and colourism.
Sources for Little Mix and The Pressures of Being a Girl Group
We could get used to this! X Factor bookies favourites Little Mix turn on the glamour at InStyle 10th anniversary bash (Daily Mail, Emily Sheridan, 2011)
‘We’re so exhausted that we broke down backstage’: Little Mix reveal they are struggling to cope with X Factor pressure as they go glam for sleek new shoot (Daily Mail Sarah Bull, 2011)
Little Mix make X Factor history as the first girl group to make the final (Daily Mail, Emily Sheridan, 2011)
Little Mix go from tomboy to trashy … how Britain’s favourite girl band sexed up their look (The Sun by Alison Maloney, 2016)
Jesy Nelson wear bum-baring leather leotard for X Factor performance and Leigh Anne Pinnock goes braless as Little Mix are accused of ‘dressing like strippers’ (The Sun, Jill Robinson, 2016)
Time to Cover Up? Little Mix are too ‘provocative’ for my 7-year-old daughter says Mel C (The Sun, Kala Paul-Worika, 2016)
Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson hits back at critics including Mel C for shaming the groups sexy outfits (The Sun by Joshua Fox, 2016)
Little Mix: ‘How dare they accuse us of trying to be sexual!’ (The Independent by Fiona Sturges, 2019)
Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson: Online trolls made me want to die (BBC, Thea de Gallier, 2019)
Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out (BBC Documentary, 2019)
Little Mix On The Pressures of Being ‘Role Models’, Scrutiny & more (Glamour Magazine by Josh Smith, 2020)
Little Mix is the best girl group in the world. It’s time America gave them a listen. (Vox, Alex Abad-Santos, 2020)
Ten years in, Little Mix is just getting started (Nylon by Lauren McCarthy, 2021)
Jesy Nelson’s first interview since leaving Little Mix (Cosmopolitan, Lottie Lumsden and Felicity Hayward, 2021)
Little Mix star Leigh-Anne talks racism, colourism and privilege (Independent, Nadine White, 2021)
Little Mix Call Out White male Dominance in Brit Awards 2021 Speech (Billboard, Anna Chan, 2021)
Leigh-Anne Pinnock: Race, Pop & Power (BBC Documentary, 2021)
The ‘Love Island’ Cast Has Been Rocked by Three Suicides in the Last Year (Distractify , Sara Belcher, 2021)
Reality TV ‘must do more to protect mental health of participants’ (The Guardian, Sarah Marsh, 2019)
How Regular People Get Turned Into The Most Hated People On TV (Ella Australia, Jessica Chandra, 2017)