Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall reveals how she and Leigh-Anne Pinnock wanted nose jobs ‘for ages’ after they were Photoshopped to look ‘as white as possible’ in first photoshoot
The singer, 28, spoke about her experience with racism in Leigh-Anne’s BBC documentary, Race, Pop and Power, which was released on Thursday.
And during a conversation about the lack of diversity in the music industry, Jade recalled how they wanted to have surgery because the altered photo made them feel they had to ‘look white’ to become ‘beautiful’.
Jade Thirlwall has revealed how she and Leigh-Anne Pinnock wanted nose jobs after being Photoshopped to look as ‘white as possible’ in their first magazine shoot as Little Mix
She said: ‘I remember for ages we both wanted nose jobs, which is f*****g insane now.
‘It’s so ridiculous but that stemmed from our first ever magazine shoot. There I was, with my whole face completely Photoshopped, my nose had changed and from that moment, I thought “oh my god, to be beautiful and glamorous you have to uphold this image of basically looking as white as possible”.’
The singer also talked to Leigh-Anne about how she suppressed her Yemini heritage during her time in the band because she ‘knew being white meant you had an easier ride’.
Horrible: Jade said how she wanted to have surgery because the altered photo made her feel she had ‘look white’ to become ‘beautiful’ (pictured with Leigh-Anne, Perrie and Jesy in 2011)
Honest: The singer, 28, spoke about her experience with racism in Leigh-Anne’s BBC documentary, Race, Pop and Power, which was released on Thursday
Insecurity battle: She said: ‘I remember for ages we both wanted nose jobs, which is f*****g insane now. It’s so ridiculous but that stemmed from our first ever magazine shoot’
She said: ‘I thought “if you see me as white, I’m not going to stand and scream in your face that I’m not”. I know there’s privilege that comes with that.’
Of the racism she experienced before finding fame in Little Mix, Jade said she was called the “token darkie” at school.
She recalled: ‘At school I used to get pinned down in the toilets, have bleach powder thrown at us, have bindi marks put on us which again, is so ridiculous because I’m Arab, so why are you putting a bindi on us for?’
Jade, whose grandfather was from Yemin, while her grandmother is Egyptian, said she feels guilty she hasn’t talked more about her heritage in the past, and said there needs to be more diversity in the industry.
The star said she supported her band mate wholeheartedly and will join her in her fight to raise awareness about racism.
Later in the documentary, Leigh-Anne battled to have a meeting with her record label Sony to talk about the lack of diversity in the industry and, after being knocked back a few times, felt encouraged when they agreed to bring in more people of colour to work with Little Mix.
The songstress has launched a foundation to fund internships and mentor schemes for black people of all ages entering the creative industries.
She said: ‘I don’t want the next girl in pop to feel like how I’ve felt. This is just the beginning. I’m a fighter.’
Impressive: Leigh-Anne then battled to have a meeting with her record label Sony to talk about the lack of diversity in the industry and launched a foundation to fund internships