Jesy Nelson recalls 'starving' herself in old Instagram post: 'I pulled my skin around to try and create a thigh gap'

‘It’s taken me 10 years to realise that I’m the only person I need to please,’ said the singer

Natasha Preskey
Thursday 25 February 2021 08:33 GMT

Jesy Nelson has opened up about her past struggles with body image, telling fans she used to starve herself in a bid to lose weight.

The star posted an old picture of herself at the gym on Instagram and explained to fans that when it was taken, she felt very unhappy with her body.

She wrote: “I just saw this picture pop up on my feed and it made me feel so sad.

“On the day this picture was taken, I remember going to the gym with my manager and I stood in the mirror and I said, ‘god I’m so fat I just want my legs to be like this’ and I pulled my skin around to try and create a thigh gap because I genuinely believed that being skinny would make me happier.”

The star went on to explain that, even after reaching her desired size by “starving herself”, she still “wasn’t happy” and “mentally bullied” herself over the way she looked, as she wanted to please other people.

But Nelson said that she no longer wastes time “seeking approval”.

She said: “It’s taken me 10 years to realise that I’m the only person I need to please.

“As humans, we find it so easy to pay other people compliments but yet we find it so hard to be kind to ourselves because it’s so much easier to pick ourselves apart than to find the things we love about ourselves.

“So if you’re someone who is feeling like I was, please don’t waste years of you’re life seeking approval from others, seek approval from yourself.

“Be your number one fan. You are the one in control of your happiness and you are the only one of you in this world and that’s pretty f***ing powerful!”

The singer previously spoke openly, in BBC documentary Odd One Out, about the impact of internet trolling, revealing that online abuse led her to attempt suicide.

In the documentary, which aired on BBC One in 2019, Nelson recalled being targeted by trolls on social media who criticised her appearance and told her to “kill [herself]”.

The documentary prompted an outpouring of support for the musician from actors, politicians, reality TV stars and fans.

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, you can contact the following organisations for support: the BEAT helpline on 0808 801 0677​ or Mind on 0300 123 3393​.

You can contact the Samaritans helpline by calling 116 123. The helpline is free and open 24 hours a day every day of the year.

You can also contact Samaritans by emailing The average response time is 24 hours.

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