Jesy Nelson was reportedly warned by her former Little Mix bandmate Leigh-Anne Pinnock not to use dark fake tan because it’s offensive to black people.
The report comes after Nicki Minaj, 38, took a swipe at Leigh-Anne on an Instagram live on Monday – after leaked messages purportedly showed the girlband star accusing Jesy of ‘blackfishing’ – a term used to describe a white person attempting to appear to have black heritage.
It has now emerged that Jesy and Leigh-Anne, both 30, had a frank conversation about blackfishing during their time in the band, but the conversation ‘fell on deaf ears’.
Shocking: Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson (left) was ‘warned by Leigh-Anne Pinnock not to use fake tan because it’s offensive to black people’ as blackfishing claims rumble on
A source told The Sun: ‘Leigh-Anne had a conversation with Jesy, trying to explain why she was upset and why it could be offensive. She felt she had to address it while making her racism documentary, but it apparently fell on deaf ears.
‘For Jesy to now claim that it has never been mentioned to her before is really rude. It’s upsetting she hasn’t taken any of this on board.’
MailOnline has approached Jesy and Leigh-Anne’s reps for comment.
Blackfishing? Jesy was accused of blackfihing after releasing the music video to her single, Boyz – a remake of Diddy’s 2001 video Bad Boy For Life, which she samples in her new track
What is ‘blackfishing’?
A newly coined phrase in 2018, ‘blackfishing’ describes someone who pretends to be black on social media for social or financial gain – using make-up, hairstyles, or even surgery to alter their appearance and adopt characteristics typically associated with women of colour.
The term came to prominence after a post calling out the ‘alarming’ amount of ‘white girls cosplaying as black women on Instagram’ was liked nearly 50,000 times on Twitter.
It prompted users to flood the thread with before and after snaps revealing drastic changes to certain influencers’ appearance.
Three years ago Jesy was first accused of cultural appropriation when she sported braids in her hair in a photo posted to Instagram, which was later deleted.
She came under fire yet again after releasing the music video to her new ,single, Boyz – a remake of Diddy’s 2001 video Bad Boy For Life, which she samples in her new track.
Addressing the claims in an interview with Vulture, Jesy claimed that she was never targeted with ‘blackfishing’ claims while she was in Little Mix and has only faced such criticism following her departure from the girlband.
‘I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t,’ she said, defended herself from the accusations.
‘But I mean, like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That’s all I know; it’s what I grew up on.’
Shock swipe: Jesy’s Boyz collaborator Nicki stood up for Jesy during an Instagram live stream on Monday as she accused Leigh-Anne, of trying to ruin Jesy’s new solo career
Jesy’s Boyz collaborator Nicki stood up for Jesy during an Instagram live stream on Monday as she accused Leigh-Anne of trying to ruin Jesy’s new solo career – before branding the new mother and the rest of Little Mix ‘jealous miserable clowns’ on the stream, which was watched by more than 100,000 fans.
She stuck up for her new pal by saying: ‘Bringing someone down is clown behaviour. […] Why didn’t they say anything when [Jesy] was in the band. All of a sudden [Jesy] is not in the band anymore. They have something to say about it.’
Nicki was addressing the news that Leigh-Anne allegedly made the statements in messages to influencer NoHun – who shared the exchange on his Instagram Story.
Nicki went on: ‘Sweetheart take them f****** text messages and shove it up your a**.. Don’t come out and ruin anyone.’
Speaking out: Leigh-Anne allegedly accused Jesy of blackfishing in messages to influencer NoHun – who shared the exchange on his Instagram Story
Jesy, who had stayed silent throughout Nicki’s tirade, laughed at this before the Superbass singer added: ‘Only jealous people do things like this. It makes you a big jealous bozo. I love you guys but please don’t do this. Let these people be miserable all by themselves.’
Nicki also said: ‘A lot of women tan, get bigger lips and get stuff done to themselves’ in reference to the blackfishing accusation.
Defending herself, Jesy spoke up and said: ‘I just personally want to say, it was never intention to offend people of colour with this video – this is what I grew up with.
‘In my opinion, 90/00s R’n’B is the best era of music. I just wanted to celebrate that. My intentions were never to offend anyone. It really hurts me that I have hurt people’s feelings.’
Opinionated: Nicki went on, ‘Sweetheart take them f****** text messages and shove it up your a**.. Don’t come out and ruin anyone’
She then went onto reveal that she didn’t even have any fake tan on in the music video, which was released in conjunction with the new song.
Jesy said that she had a natural tan from being in Antigua a few weeks prior to the shoot, and she even claimed that Leigh-Anne once asked her if she was sure she wasn’t mixed race because she tanned so easily in the sun.
She went on: ‘I have naturally curly hair. In this industry if you keep putting s*** on your hair it gets damaged. I wanted to get a wig that emulated my hair for the video.’
Nicki collaborated with Little Mix back in 2018 on the song Woman Like Me, but this fact did not feature heavily in the conversation between the two on the livestream.
Defence: Jesy defended herself against blackfishing, saying .’I just personally want to say, it was never my intention to offend people of colour with this video – this is what I grew up with’
Earlier On Monday, Leigh-Anne allegedly claimed that and her bandmates did not unfollow the star on Instagram as has been widely reported but were instead blocked by Jesy.
A slew of messages to NoHun saw Leigh-Anne insist that ‘no one knows anything’ when it comes to the fallout and that she was ‘raging’.
The claims that Jesy blocked her bandmates on social media come following reports that Leigh-Anne, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall had unfollowed Jesy on social media a day after she dropped her first single Boyz, featuring rappers Nicki Minaj and Diddy.
As well as the singer’s personal accounts, an Instagram account for Perrie’s dog Hatchi also unfollowed Jesy.
The official Little Mix Instagram account does appear to still be following Jesy, however.
Old pals? Nicki collaborated with Little Mix back in 2018 on the song Woman Like Me, but this fact did not feature heavily in the conversation between the two on the livestream
NoHun has since deleted the exchange from Instagram, but shared a TikTok video in which he accused Leigh-Anne of asking him to do the band’s ‘dirty work’ with her request that he make a video about blackfishing.
He said: ‘I don’t think it’s appropriate for a member of Little Mix to message me after I posted a video dancing to the new Jesy Nelson song, saying that I should make a video about her being a blackfish instead.
Leaked: Influencer NoHun (pictured) shared a slew of messages that he claims were between himself and Leigh-Anne before blasting the star for asking him to do her ‘dirty work’ and make a video about blackfishing
‘So you want me to create content that you know is going to incite hatred and bullying to a person who has been so open and honest and vocal about how trolling has affected their mental health?’
Little Mix were put together on the X Factor in 2011 and had global fame with many of their hits – before Jesy suddenly left the band back in December 202O, citing her mental health, before going on to launch her solo career.
Way back when: Little Mix were put together on the X Factor in 2011 and had global fame with many of their hits – before Jesy suddenly left the band back in December