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Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock gets emotional as she reveals she used to search out online abuse

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Sarah Shaffi
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Leigh-Anne Pinnock, from the band Little Mix, during London Fashion Week September 2018 on September 17, 2018 in London, England.

“I regret doing that so much but I’m here now and I feel so much stronger”

Little Mix have had huge success since they became the first group to win The X Factor in 2011, with number one singles and awards to their name.

But while things look rosy from the outside, band member Leigh-Anne Pinnock has revealed that she struggled during the first three years with online abuse and feeling invisible.

In an interview, Pinnock cried as she revealed that she used to search out what people were saying about her on the internet.

The Global Awards With Very.co.uk LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards of Little Mix arrive at the The Global Awards with Very.co.uk at Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on March 07, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Leigh-Anne Pinnock with Little Mix bandmates Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards.

Speaking to Glamour, the singer said she would put search terms like “Leigh Anne from Little Mix” and “the black girl in Little Mix” into search engines.

“I regret doing that so much but I’m here now and I feel so much stronger and I don’t feel like that anymore and I don’t do that anymore,” she said. “I don’t look for it. I want to be someone who got through that. She was that person and now I’m so proud of who I am and it’s such a good feeling.”

Pinnock says she’s learnt to stop looking for those comments, and although it took her a long time, “now I don’t care what people have to say about me anymore and it’s such a good place to be in”.

But, she admitted that despite her success, she was “never 100% certain” of herself.

“There’s always going to be some things to get me down and get to me,” she said.

Pinnock also spoke about feeling invisible and not knowing where she fitted in when she first joined Little Mix.

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“For the first three years of getting thrown into this crazy world I was still working out where I fitted in,” she said. “It was a weird feeling because I did feel invisible.”

But speaking out about that feeling has had a positive impact. “When I spoke about it, I got so many messages saying how brave I was, and it really helped a lot of black girls,” she said. “Knowing I did that made me so happy and it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was a good feeling and I think it needed to be said.”

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