Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson has said fronting a TV series exploring body image and mental health helped her overcome insecurities about her weight.
The pop singer, 28, said she had wanted to “erase” all memory of her younger self because she saw that person as “the fat one from Little Mix”.
Nelson said “endless amounts of trolling” had made her hate the woman she saw when she looked at photos of herself in her early twenties.
In a post to her 5.4 million Instagram followers, the Essex native urged fans to speak out about their insecurities, before sharing an image of herself from 2011.
She said: “6 months ago this girl was someone I just wanted to forget. I wanted to erase her from my mind and everyone else’s memory. I didn’t see her as Jesy I saw her as ‘the fat one from Little Mix’.
“Up until now I hated her not because she’d ever done anything bad but because I was made to hate her by endless amounts of trolling.
“Since filming my documentary for @bbcone and @bbcthree I’ve learned so much more than I ever expected to.”
Her programme, which has a working title of Jesy Nelson: My Story and will premiere on BBC Three before airing on BBC One, will look at “how growing up in a social media-fuelled age of selfies, body shaming and trolling is having a profound impact on the mental health of young people”.
She continued by thanking those around her for helping her to love her younger self.
Nelson said: “Thanks to all the inspirational people I’ve met on this emotional journey, I now love the girl in this photo.
“I’ve made this documentary for 2011 Jesy and for anyone who might be feeling like she did.
“I refused to speak about how I was feeling for so long. I was embarrassed and scared to. But I was so wrong to feel that way.
“Please if you are feeling how I did, SPEAK ABOUT IT. Talk to your family, speak to your friends, there’s always help out there.
“If you’d have told that girl one day you won’t feel sad anymore, I’d never have believed you….and here I am.
“Now when I look in the mirror, I don’t see Jesy the fat one, I see Jesy the happy one!”
Little Mix – comprised of Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall – won The X Factor in 2011.