Jesy Nelson: Beating my bullies

It's no secret that Jesy Nelson has battled the bullies. She first began to be cyber-bullied during X-Factor when she was trolled about her weight and called “the fat one from Little Mix”.

Cyber-bullying, or trolling, is when someone deliberately and persistently bullies another person online. It can range from insensitive jokes, to insults, to death threats. “I was told that my face was very deformed,” Jesy shares in her documentary, “and that I should chop my head off so they don’t have to look at me anymore.”

People say things and don’t even realise the effect it’s going to have on someone.

Cyber-bullying is particularly nasty because it’s so hard to escape. On your phone, your laptop, at school, at home, in bed – haters will hate anywhere.

"I was told that my face was very deformed."

Why do people bully?

There’s no one reason why people decide to bully. Like Jesy says, it might be that the person bullying doesn’t feel good about themselves, and putting someone else down gives them a sense of power. It might be because they’re unhappy or frustrated in another aspect of their lives. They might simply not realise how hurtful they are being.

Whatever the reason – as Jesy says in her documentary – "bullying isn’t ok."

What can I do to stop it?

Jesy’s advice for anyone who is being bullied is to “speak to someone, whether that be a friend, family member or a teacher at school.” They might be able to help you, share their own experiences and offer support.

Do not suffer in silence because you will just make it worse for yourself.

"Do not suffer in silence" - Jesy shares nasty comments with her sister.

There are also practical steps that you can take if you’re being cyber-bullied:

  • Don’t reply: getting drawn into an argument will only provoke more insults.

  • Screenshot: keep evidence of the bullying so that you can use it to support your account when you report or share what’s been said.

  • Report it: most sites will let you report bad behaviour and will deal with it themselves.

  • Block the bullies: sites work in different ways, but you’ll probably be able to block someone and stop receiving their messages.

  • Take a break: consider whether you actually need to be on that site yourself. Could you come off that game or app and just remove yourself from the situation? Taking a digital detox could help to put things in perspective.

You can find lots more advice and support about bullying online. You could start by visiting Childline or Young Minds.

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