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S Club 7’s Jo O’Meara reveals she empathises with Jesy Nelson as she also faced body shaming

Former S Club 7 singer Jo O’Meara has admitted she empathises with Little Mix‘s Jesy Nelson as she also felt like the ‘ugly one’ in her pop group.  

The-42-year-old singer revealed on Friday that she felt insecure as part of the hit nineties band due to comments about her weight. 

Jo told The Sun: ‘When I look back, I wasn’t that big really. But because I was standing next to three absolutely stunning girls, I was always the ugly one that sang the songs.’   

Empathy: Former S Club 7 singer Jo O’Meara has revealed she empathises with Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson as she also felt like the ‘ugly one’ in her pop group (pictured in 1999)

The singer shot to fame with hits such as Reach Up For The Stars alongside Rachel Stevens, Hannah Spearritt, Tina Barrett, Bradley McIntosh, Jon Lee and Paul Cattermole.

Jo told the paper she could relate to Jesy, who received a barrage of body shaming messages and comparisons to her bandmates Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall before quitting Little Mix in December.  

Jesy wrote in her leaving statement at the time: ‘The truth is recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health.

‘I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard,’ she added.  

'I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard': Jesy quit Little Mix in December after facing body shaming and comparison to her bandmates

‘I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard’: Jesy quit Little Mix in December after facing body shaming and comparison to her bandmates 

Echoing Jesy’s sentiments, Jo said of her time in S Club: ‘It made me feel very insecure as a singer and as part of that group. I did have a hell of a lot of insecurities to overcome.’

The singer also revealed that when the band did TV appearances she would sit with a cushion over her stomach so that people wouldn’t comment on her weight.   

Looking back retrospectively, Jo added that she was unsure how she overcame her insecurities but now feels the happiest she ever has and is feeling good in her own skin.   

'I wasn’t that big really. But because I was standing next to three absolutely stunning girls, I was always the ugly one': Jo found fame alongside Rachel Stevens, Hannah Spearritt, Tina Barrett, Bradley McIntosh, Jon Lee and Paul Cattermole (pictured in 1999)

‘I wasn’t that big really. But because I was standing next to three absolutely stunning girls, I was always the ugly one’: Jo found fame alongside Rachel Stevens, Hannah Spearritt, Tina Barrett, Bradley McIntosh, Jon Lee and Paul Cattermole (pictured in 1999) 

Girl band: Meanwhile, Jesy toured the world with Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall after they shot into the spotlight on Xfactor in 2011 (pictured together in 2019)

Girl band: Meanwhile, Jesy toured the world with Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall after they shot into the spotlight on Xfactor in 2011 (pictured together in 2019) 

The candid interview comes as the former S Club 7 star is relaunching her career with an upcoming solo album called With Love. 

Promoting her record on This Morning last month, Jo revealed she felt ‘lost’ and ‘scared’ after S Club 7 disbanded in 2003.

She admitted she didn’t have the time to appreciate the success of the band when they were together because of their jam-packed schedules and the constant pressure. 

Tought: Jo said she had a lot of insecurities to overcome after the band split up (pictured in 1999)

Tought: Jo said she had a lot of insecurities to overcome after the band split up (pictured in 1999) 

She said to hosts Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond on the breakfast show:  ‘I think I appreciate it all [S Club 7] more now, because when we were doing it, we didn’t have the time to stop and enjoy the success because you’re on a hamster wheel all the time. 

‘But now I look back and think, ‘We weren’t that bad”.

During a live performance in April 2003, they group announced they were going to split. On the 8th June, the group made their final appearance together on Top Of The Pops before going their separate ways. 

New venture: The candid interview comes as the former S Club 7 star is relaunching her career with an upcoming solo album called With Love

New venture: The candid interview comes as the former S Club 7 star is relaunching her career with an upcoming solo album called With Love

Reflecting on the last performance, Jo continued: ‘It was the most surreal thing because with our lives we were always on an itinerary and the book was always full, full, full 

‘And on that very last show we were in the dressing room and went, ‘Oh see you later then!’ and we all went into our own cars. 

‘I just remember sitting in the back of the car, I felt so empty. I felt completely lost because I thought, ‘What do I do now?’ For it to just stop it was a shock to the system.’ 

Jo confirmed she still speaks to her former bandmates but they struggle to meet up due to their hectic work schedules and busy personal lives.  

She added: ‘We all try and keep in touch where we can just in DMs and social media but with everyone being so busy with families and doing their own stuff it’s hard, but everyone is doing well.’ 

Pals: Speaking about S Club's split, Jo has previously revealed she felt 'empty' when their final performance came to an end (pictured with Rachel Stevens the year of the split in 2003)

Pals: Speaking about S Club’s split, Jo has previously revealed she felt ’empty’ when their final performance came to an end (pictured with Rachel Stevens the year of the split in 2003) 


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