Jesy Nelson shares mental health post amid Blackfishing controversy over 'Boyz' video

11 October 2021, 11:47 | Updated: 11 October 2021, 12:00

The pop star has shared a post a post about mental health after receiving backlash for 'making her skin appear darker' in a new music video.

Jesy Nelson has shared a mental health awareness post, urging people to ‘be kind’ after she was accused of Blackfishing.

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On Friday (Oct 8) The former Little Mix singer made her first debut as a solo artist, on her Nicki Minaj-assisted track 'Boyz'.

The music video featured star cameos from Diddy and Nicki Minaj – but the main talking point from the video was the Blackfishing claims.

Fans were critical of the music video, with many pointing out that Jesy’s skin complexion appears darker than her natural skin tone.

She also got called out for 'exploiting' Black culture, leading to claims of cultural appropriation. 

More specifically, Jesy was accused of blackfishing – which means someone who changes their appearance to appear Black or racially ambiguous.

On Sunday (Oct 10) the 30-year-old singer took to Instagram to share a post on Mental Health Awareness Day.

‘Mental illness is not always visible. 10.10.21. Be kind to others. Your [sic] not alone #mentalhealthawarenessday,’ she wrote on her Instagram story.

Jesy Nelson shares post about mental health amid Blackfishing controversy.
Jesy Nelson shares post about mental health amid Blackfishing controversy. Picture: Instagram/@jesynelson

Jesy – who left Little Mix last year – responded to the blackfishing backlash in an interview with Vulture.

She said: ‘I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t.

‘I mean, like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That’s all I know, it’s what I grew up on.’

Jesy added: ‘I take all those comments made seriously. I would never intentionally do anything to make myself look racially ambiguous, so that’s why I was initially shocked that the term was directed at me.’

Fans have pointed out that Jesy Nelson's skin tone appears darker than Nicki Minaj's complexion.
Fans have pointed out that Jesy Nelson's skin tone appears darker than Nicki Minaj's complexion. Picture: YouTube

Jesy has previously opened up about her mental health struggles.

She revealed that she was quitting Little Mix last December after having a hard time coping with the pressure of being a girl band.

In 2019, the pop star appeared in the documentary Odd One Out, where she went in depth about how social media trolling and bullying affected her mental health.

Jesy recently appeared on Fearne Cotton's Happy Place podcast, where she revealed that she had a music video scheduled a week after she tried to take her own life.

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