Ditch the Label – including six of their favourite products which are united in bringing kindness to your skin, our planet and one another, the girls talk about the times they wish they had been kinder to themselves, why the world needs allyship more than ever and discuss the intense scrutiny they have been under…
Here, as they release the Simple x Little Mix skincare range – in collaboration with the international anti-bullying charity.
As the world’s most successful girl band join forces with Simple for a third consecutive year on their #simplechoosekindness campaign, the four women are united in one thing: spreading positivity and kindness.
Girls how are we doing?
Jesy: We are as good as can be! We’re very happy to be back together.
Leigh-Anne: This has been the longest we’ve been apart!
How’s that been for you being apart for that long – what have you missed the most about each other?
Jesy: Do you know what, just laughing every day, just gossiping and talking about all the silly things that we talk about. Obviously, we miss performing, seeing our fans, too!
You have always used your platform for the greater good. You have teamed up with Simple in collaboration with the charity, Ditch the Label to promote the idea of kindness not only to others but to yourself, your skin and the environment. Do you think, that given the context we’re in right now we need kindness more than ever before?
Jesy: I just think giving a compliment to someone, you never know what someone is going through. I think that to be kind and give someone a compliment can just completely change their day and their mindset.
Leigh-Anne: Can you imagine how amazing this world would be if we’re just nice and everyone was kind to each other? It would be a different world!
Kindness also starts within. Is there a time that you wish you were kinder to yourself?
Jade: Quite recently, unfortunately, I haven’t been very kind to myself and I think it’s because of being stuck indoors for a few months. I’ve ate sh*t (laughs). I’ve tried quite a few bottles of wine. I sort of not let yourself go, but I think there was a period where, obviously, we all found out being locked down, and said, “Aww, sweet, time off!” You’re comfortable, you are very much a couch potato.
All those productive things that I said I was gonna do, I clearly didn’t do. So, I punished myself for a while about that. I had to learn to, instead of being really angry at myself, and disappointed in myself, to be very kind to myself about the way I looked and felt. I had to learn to be like, “Do you know what? Give yourself a break! You’ve had a bit of time off, everyone’s going through it right now, mentally. Everyone’s finding different ways of coping with this.”
Perrie: I think, do you know what, I’m going to be honest and say, the times I actually pick myself apart and feel miserable is when I get papped in a bikini. Or papped in a way that one, I’m not aware that I’m being papped. And two, it makes me feel dirty. People will say to me, “Oh, you look great!” I’m like, “Are you kidding me? Do I look like that?” Then I’ll cry. Like, I’ll actually cry. I’ll say, “I’m hideous, I’m this and this.” It really gets to me and I have to remind myself to let it go. It’s a few bad pictures, who cares? But it takes a lot to get to that point. It’s easier said than done – it’s really horrible.
Leigh-Anne: I went through a period of just not thinking I was good enough. I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself. I picked myself apart, my ability and I wish I’d just believed in it more because it’s always been there. But from losing confidence, I blamed it on thinking, “Oh, you need to improve on that. You need to do this; you need to do more of this.” I was fine the way I was. So, I wish I kind of just told myself that and didn’t let it fester. I’m gonna be kinder to myself every day.
Jesy: I’m a bitch to myself most days. If I’m feeling good in myself, then I’ll praise myself. Like Jade, if I’m feeling sh*t in myself, then I’ll just really beat myself up about it. I’ll literally pick myself apart. Then sometimes I’ll have to check myself and I have to be like, “This is life. Sometimes you’re gonna look like sh*t.
Sometimes you’re gonna eat crap food and you’re gonna put on weight and that’s just life. And sometimes you’re gonna lose it. Stop bullying yourself, cause you would never do that to someone else. I genuinely believe that we find it so easy to be so nasty to ourselves but yet we’d never do that to someone else.
The things that we say to ourselves, we would never project that on anyone else. And I think it’s so easy to do that and so easy to like, “Oh God, I look disgusting,” and just saying these hurtful things. We don’t actually realise what we’re doing to ourselves mentally. And really, to train our brain to saying positive things to ourselves, I genuinely think that our mental health would be so much better. But it’s easier said than done. I think it’s a journey that we all have to go on.
But I generally think that if we can be kinder to ourselves and say more positive things to ourselves than negative, we’d all just be more confident and happier in ourselves. The relationship that you have with yourself, is the hardest.
I was talking about allyship to you the other day, Jade and how important is to be allies to one another. Given what has then happened since, has that taken on a whole new meaning for you?
Jade: I think now more than ever, allyship is everything. Change doesn’t happen unless you have allies. There are so many issues that are finally being talked about, and something is finally being done. I feel like now more than ever, allyship is key to change.
It’s all about using your voice for the greater good and as a band you have always done that. How has that changed as you’ve gone through your career, the power of your own voice and how you’ve used it?
Jade: I think we’ve always used our platform in positive ways, but I feel like more recently, we’ve maybe gained more confidence in being able to speak up on issues. I think that’s due to just growing up and maturing and having the confidence to do so. I think it’s also being more educated enough to speak up about things. I think there’s also a bit of a fear when you have such a huge platform of doing and saying the right things all the time.
Throughout everything you have always had each other, this amazing sisterhood. What has Little Mix taught you about the power of sisterhood?
Leigh-Anne: It’s everything! The power that we hold as four women, I think is just so incredibly strong and just amazing. I think as well, it just goes to show that when there’s more of you that stand for something change can happen and it does make people listen more. I’m proud of us, for what Jade said, using our platform, we’ve now got this huge platform, so if we didn’t do anything with it, and didn’t speak about what we believe in and stand up for what we believe in, then I don’t really feel like we’d be serving our purpose as a girl band.
What do you think individually the rest of the band has helped you through the most?
Perrie: The best thing about us guys, is we’re there for each other emotionally. It’s like we go through the ride together. I think when one of us is kinda hurting, we hurt with them. We’re just there. We’re like shoulders to cry on, we’re holding hands, we give each other advice, we have each other’s backs. It’s that constant support system of having sisters there all the time. I’m thinking, that’s what I love about us. We always, always, have each other’s backs. It’s just important I think the industry we’re in and the things that happen, we go through it together and that’s why it’s less daunting.
Jesy: Well we’re good energy to be around. When someone is feeling down, we’ll never, we’ll never, ever leave them to just be down. We’ll always trying to lift each other’s spirits and make each other feel good. We always just try to make other people feel good and each other feel good with confidence. Where if someone’s feeling a bit ‘Aggh’ and I know that if I’m not feeling good in myself it’s be like, “Shut up, we’re banging.” We lift each other up.
Leigh-Anne: But do you know what it is? It’s just so much pressure. There’s so much pressure to act a certain way, look a certain way, say the right thing. I think knowing that we have that sort of support for each other. When I was, during lockdown, not seeing the girls, I felt like there was so much going on and I felt like I was dealing with it all on my own, cause I wasn’t with them. As soon as we’re back together, it’s us against the world, it felt so weird being on my own, because we’ve never had to do that before. It was just strange.
You are such a positive force for change. But unfortunately, negativity is still so prominent with 1 in 3 people dealing with cyber bullying. How have you learnt to deal with negativity?
Jesy: I think, we’re all human. Obviously, we’re gonna have days when certain things do affect us, but I definitely think we’re a lot stronger now. We’ve got a thicker skin. I don’t think things that would have bothered us back then would bother us now if we were singing. I’m starting to become a bit immune to it now. We’re very confident in ourselves now. But you know, we’re all human, we’re not robots, and sometimes certain things do affect us. But we are lucky to be in this group – we lift each other up if we are down.
Speaking of Ditch the Label – do you feel personally you have had to let go of a label that was placed on you or had to fight against a label that was placed on you?
Jade: I feel like the term role model is lovely, but it’s also quite…
Jade: Yes, it’s quite scary. I’m still a human and I’m not gonna get it right all the time. So please let me still learn. It has put a bit of pressure on us, over the years, of having to be that. We are just four normal women here, just trying to live our lives. That’s lovely and people look up to us, but at the same time, I feel pressure.
Leigh-Anne: Even scrutiny on what we wear on stage. If we wear a leotard on stage, we’re wearing that to move and to feel comfortable!
Jesy: Yes! I’m wearing it because it makes ME feel empowered, it makes ME feel sexy.
Leigh-Anne: But this is problem, why are we, why do we get scrutinised all the time, for literally dressing our age?
Jesy: Dua Lipa, Rita Ora – there’s so many solo artists that wear leotards. It’s just mad!
Leigh-Anne: But is that because of who we are, Little Mix? And having a younger fan base, I don’t know. Is that why people look at us and think, ‘Don’t do that’? And we are women and we want to embrace our bodies and roll with that.
Perrie: I was talking about this the other day. I wonder why we get scrutinised all the time for what we wear? When we’re on tour we don’t stop, from start to finish we don’t stop dancing because our main goal, for people who come to a Little Mix concert, is we put on a show. Like the whole shebang. We could easily dress in gowns! We can easily wear track suits from top to bottom. But that’s not what we’re about, we’re putting on a huge show, we wanna be comfortable. So, if you wanna come to a Little Mix concert, and see us fully clothed, we ain’t gonna move. I think it just goes back to the point of being women. I think we just get scrutinised for everything – even when you breathe!
As a society we need to stop judging people for what makes other people feel empowered. If you feel empowered wearing a leotard, wear it. Why are we judging people’s personal decisions?
Jesy: Exactly. I honestly believe, though, that when people are just negative towards you, it’s a projection of how they actually feel about themselves.
Jade: Someone’s judgement on you, is really their insecurity talking. It’s on them!
Jesy: It’s only negative people that don’t feel good in themselves, that are quite insecure, that project that on other people, because it makes them feel better.
If you could do a Zoom call with the you about to join Little Mix, what would you want to tell them?
Jade: I would say prepare yourself for the wildest nine years of your life. I would say don’t be so hard on yourself, know that you’re enough, as you are, don’t doubt who you are, your abilities and what you’re capable of doing. I would say that you’re about to learn a lot about yourself and that’s a good thing – everything’s a lesson, isn’t it? So, enjoy the ride!