Jesy Nelson is speaking out in response to Blackfishing accusations.
The 30-year-old singer got her start as a member of British girl group Little Mix and she recently decided to launch a solo career. With the release of her debut solo single “Boyz,” she’s facing allegations of Blackfishing.
For those who don’t know, the term Blackfishing is used when a white person tries to make themselves appear Black or mixed-race, usually through spray tans, makeup, and hairstyles.
Back in August, she was asked about the Blackfishing allegations in an interview with The Guardian. She said, “I would never want to offend anyone, and that was really upsetting. I wasn’t aware that’s how people felt.”
Now, Jesy is speaking out in greater detail in a new interview that was just released.
Click inside to check out her new comments…
Jesy was asked by Vulture if she had reflected on the allegations and if she understands the points that were made.
“The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that. And then I came out of [the band] and people all of a sudden were saying it. I wasn’t on social media around that time, so I let my team [deal with it], because that was when I’d just left. But I mean, like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That’s all I know; it’s what I grew up on,” Jesy said. “I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t.”
The reporter brought up how comments with the Blackfishing allegations have disappeared from her Instagram page. She said, “I don’t know about that. Maybe it was my team.”
Jesy was asked if she feels that she’s changed the way she acts or dresses.
“No, not at all,” she said. “I’m just 100 percent being myself. If you look at me on X Factor with my big curly hair, I was wearing trainers and combats — that’s who I am as an artist and as Jesy. Now I’m out of Little Mix, I’ve gone back to being who I am. Like I said, I don’t ever want to be an artist who’s being told what to wear or what music to make. I want to be authentic and true to myself, and if people don’t like that, don’t be my fan. Don’t be a part of my journey.”
After the interview was completed, Jesy‘s publicist reached out to Vulture to confirm that her management team had deleted comments and blocked users.
Jesy emailed the reporter with a comment and said, “I know comments relating to this had previously been deleted from my IG account, I only found out afterwards that a member of my management team had deleted comments. I’ve spent years being bullied online, so I limit the amount I go on socials. My management team have access to my account & they were trying to protect me & my mental health.”
The outlet had scheduled two follow-up calls with Jesy “to discuss Blackfishing and identity in greater detail.”
The calls were canceled and Jesy provided the following statement: “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.”
In another interview this week, Jesy talked about her current relationship with her former Little Mix bandmates.