Inside Jesy Nelson's most extreme transformations from Little Mix teen to perma-tanned solo artist in blackfishing row

RELEASING her debut solo single Boyz should’ve been a celebratory moment for Jesy Nelson.

But instead the ex-Little Mix star, 30, has found herself embroiled in a "devastating" blackfishing row, with rumours of a feud between her and her former bandmates at fever pitch.

The term blackfishing is used when a white person uses black culture and aesthetics for their own gain.

Jesy, who was born and raised in Romford, East London, has recently overhauled her image, debuting voluminous curls and a dark tan which she insists is natural.

After her Boyz music video – featuring Trinidadian-born rapper Nicki Minaj – attracted controversy, Jesy defended her look, telling viewers of an Instagram live: "My intention was never to offend people of colour with this video and my song."

She added: "My hair is naturally curly, I got it from my dad – I wanted to get a wig that emulated the same texture as my hair and I genuinely didn't think I was doing anything wrong.

"I just want to touch on the whole tanning thing as well, when I was in the video with you [Nicki], I didn't have fake tan on. I'd been in Antigua prior to that for three weeks.

"I'm really lucky as a white girl I tan so much. Leigh-Anne [Pinnock] even said to me in the group: 'Are you sure you're not mixed race because you go darker than me in the sun!'"

Jesy has also admitted Leigh-Anne – who filmed a documentary about racism – had spoken to her about her so-called blackfishing after they filmed the music video for their song Sweet Melody.

Referencing Leigh-Anne and bandmate Jade Thirlwall in the Instagram chat, Jesy said: "I was in a group with two women of colour for 10 years and it was never brought up to me until the last music video I did with them when Leigh-Anne messaged me."

Jesy's latest look is a far cry from her fresh-faced first appearance on The X Factor in 2011 – but it's not the first time she's undergone a dramatic transformation.

Over the years she's worn an array of wigs ranging from vibrant pink to a blonde, short bob.

Here we reflect on some of her wildest stand-out looks.

October 2011

November 2011




April 2017

June 2017


February 2019

June 2019

September 2019

May 2020

October 2020

May 2021

October 2021

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