TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE AND EATING DISORDERS. The recently released Jesy Nelson documentary has broken a viewing record for BBC Three, it was announced. The documentary has been the most viewed title in the last three years and we are not one bit surprised.
The ‘Odd One Out’ documentary features Jesy Nelson, member of hugely successful girl band, ‘Little Mix’. It focuses on the bullying Jesy has been a victim of since her rise to fame eight years ago.
Incredibly, it received 3.3 million viewers in its first week, which can only be a massive societal step in the right direction. Online bullying is something we should all be educated on and consistently informing ourselves about.
Although a worldwide star is bravely opening up and telling the world her story, this is a reality for a lot of our younger generations and it has to stop.
Suicides directly linked with the online world have been steadily on the rise since the spread of social media. As a mum of four, it is terrifying to think what the future looks like for my children with social media leaving most teens so easily accessible and vulnerable to online trolls.
Jesy recalls that at age twenty, she reached the height of fame as part of the winning band to win the X Factor. Sadly, this is also when she reached the lowest point of her life.
Jesy opens up about how she was bullied online by strangers for being ‘the fat one’ in her band Little Mix. She recounts the detrimental effect these online trolls have had on her mental health and on her life.
Viewers get a real taste of the battle Jesy has faced in both her professional and personal life with these bullies.
In an attempt to heal, Jesy meets with other victims of online bullying and their stories are shocking and heart-breaking. This is the wakeup call we all need to see - something has got to change.
Have that conversation with your child about online bullying. This documentary should be shown to children in schools and their parents.
In the midst of her depression, Jesy talks about how she returned to perform on the X factor in 2013 but the criticism about her appearance on the show caused her mental health to ‘spiral out of control’.
She opens up saying, “I’d lost quite a bit of weight, and we were going back on X Factor to perform our new single. All I cared about was people seeing me and saying ‘Oh, she looks good’. I starved myself for a week.”
The pop star later attempted to take her own life, continuing: “I was sat in bed crying, thinking, ‘This is never going to go, I’m going to feel sad for the rest of my life, so what is the point in being here?’
“The only way I can describe the pain is like constantly being heartbroken. I remember going to the kitchen and I just took as many tablets as I could. Then my ex, who was with me at the time, he woke up and was like, ‘Why are you crying?’ I kept saying, ‘I just want to die’.”
I think anyone who tuned into the raw and powerful documentary would have seen just how devastating this problem is and how many people it effects.
There needs to be change and there needs to be laws put in place. But the first place to start is to talk about it. We applaud Jesy on her brave documentary and encourage you to educate yourself and your children on the effects of online bullying.
In her BBC documentary 'Odd One Out', Jesy frankly details how bullying on the internet, mainly about her appearance, broke her self esteem and changed who she was as a person.
The documentary showed how the bullying has affected Jesy personally and professionally – she would fail to turn up for work and even now is deeply self-conscious – but also highlighted the story of a family whose daughter killed herself over cyber trolling.
It was an upsetting watch and a reminder that fame, success and even having a supportive circle of family and friends around can't always protect against emotional turmoil.
Many who watched shared their own experiences of being bullied and the lasting effect it can have.