Jesy Nelson’s documentary, Odd One Out, is a fierce confrontation with the cruel aesthetically driven world we live in.
Nelson reveals her darkest moments during her journey on and after X Factor, as she was hounded by cyberbullies. From the moment the group was put together, Jesy was labelled ‘the fat one.’ This narrative was the start of a rapid decline in her mental health and ensued a negative body image. “E.T.” “Miss Piggy” “a fat singing ugly whale” are just a few of the comments she faced, but the scary thing is Jesy, nor anyone around her, could do anything to stop them. She couldn’t hide away from the world, social media or paparazzi. She was a victim in her own successful career to the violent force of social media, preventing her from seeing the success she actually had around her.
After she lost some weight before a return X Factor performance in 2013, Jesy reveals that she didn’t care if people liked the new single the band were performing. All she wanted to prove was that she wasn’t fat anymore. Jesy starved herself a week prior to the performance. Thoughts of her aesthetics consumed her: an attitude her mother knows she didn’t have growing up. It is devastating that the cruel world of social media can be so violent about how somebody looks, causing a permanent change in how they view themselves.
“It was acceptable, the norm even, to refer to Jesy as ‘the fat one’.”
To my horror when watching the documentary, when the performance went live, the haters still pounded Jesy. This is the moment I realised that her ‘fatness’ was ingrained into Little Mix’s aesthetic. It was acceptable, the norm even, to refer to Jesy as ‘the fat one.’ I think this is when Jesy realised it too, declaring “if I was the skinniest person in the world, it still wouldn’t stop.” It was a never-ending cycle. Indeed, Katie Hopkins tweeted the following, which Jesy admitted was the pivotal moment her depression and suicidal thoughts “spiralled out of control.”
“The documentary shows that what seemed like a joke to some was actually the cause of severe depression, a suicide attempt and body image issues that Jesy now has a therapist for.”
How could somebody be so cruel? It’s because Jesy ‘the fat one’ had become the narrative. Katie Hopkins happily contributed to the narrative, gaining likes, retweets’s and attention by the second. Social media had accepted it. The world had accepted hating on one girl. The documentary shows that what seemed like a joke to some was actually the cause of severe depression, a suicide attempt and body image issues that Jesy now has a therapist for.
“The documentary is raw, honest and brave, all the while heart-breaking.”
The documentary cries out for social media to be a kinder place. It begs for people to think before they tweet, because as we can see, one tweet can have horrific effects. The documentary is raw, honest and brave, all the while heart-breaking. It is a necessary watch in our day and age where social media has such a big influence. Jesy was so brave to delve into her darkest times on camera, and we must thank her for doing so. Be kind.
Last modified: 20th October 2019