Skip to main content

Home Culture Culture Film & TV

Little Mix shut down sexist critics: ‘You should be able to wear what you bl**dy want!’

The 'Woman Like Me' singers get real about sexism in the music industry in our new December issue.

By Steve Brown

Words: Steve Brown

Little Mix made history back in 2011 as the first ever group to win the eighth series of The X Factor and have since bombarded the charts with hit after hit.

But being a girl group – consisting of Jade Thirwall, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards – comes at a cost in the male dominated music industry.

In an exclusive interview in the December issue of Attitude, the girls – who each have their own cover in our double special with Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes out now to buy and download – shut down their sexist critics as they open up about the battles they face within the industry.

“When we first got together, we were told that girls bands don’t work, so we weren’t actually going to go through [on The X Factor],” Leigh-Anne says.

Photogaphy: Zoe McConnell

“[Our mentor] Tulisa had to fight and say, ‘No, these girls deserve it’.

Asked whether they girls have directly experienced sexist behaviour in the indsutry, she replies: “We hadn’t experienced anything crazy up until quite recently.

“We feel a bit funny about it, but in due time we will speak out and raise more awareness because it’s not right.”

Jade adds: “Even now, we still face sexism. Sometimes I think these powerful men in the industry struggle…”

Photogaphy: Zoe McConnell

The girls also talk about facing criticism for outfit choices while on stage after people have slammed the girl group for being too provocative.

Jesy tells us: “You should be able to be whatever kind of woman you want to be. You should be able to wear what you bloody want to wear and rock it with confidence.

Photogaphy: Zoe McConnell

“As long as you feel good about yourself, that’s all that matters. It just annoys me. We’ll wear a leotard and they’re like [pulls a face].

“But I’m thinking, ‘Do you say that to the people at the Olympics: that they’re too provocative? No, you don’t, but because we’re dancing, ‘Oh, you’re too sexy!’”

Bandmate Perrie adds: “If a man is wearing something skimpy everyone thinks ‘Oh yes!’

Photogaphy: Zoe McConnell 

“If a woman does it, they are judged.”

Read the full interview with Little Mix in the December issue of Attitude, which comes with four special collectible covers and alternate cover featuring Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes.

Buy now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: 3 issues for £3 in print, 13 issues for £19.99 to download to any device.