Jade Thirlwall: 'Little Mix helped me recover from anorexia'

Jade Thirlwall says Little Mix helped her to recover from anorexia.

The 27-year-old singer was badly bullied as a teenager and developed an eating disorder, which lasted for five years, but Jade credits auditioning for 'The X Factor' and being put in the girlband Little Mix, with helping to save her from anorexia.

Speaking to The Guardian, she said: "I'm Arab, and when I was growing up there weren't many famous people who looked like me. At school, I was bullied a lot about my colour. I became incredibly insecure, and was anorexic from 13 to 18. Going on the 'X Factor' and being put into Little Mix helped me to recover. I knew I'd never be able to be a singer and live my dream if I stayed the way I was; having that goal was my light at the end of the tunnel."

Jade also praised her bandmates - Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson - for being hugely supportive but admitted that dealing with fame was not always easy.

She said: "People think that girl band members are competitive, but my saving grace was being put in a group where we supported each other and gave each other confidence boosts. We were so young when we won, and very naive. Early on, the record company called us in for a meeting and told us that we had to stop walking around in onesies and Ugg boots because we were making them look bad. We just laughed.

"Other scrutiny was harder. On one of our first photoshoots, the magazine Photoshopped my nose, which gave me such a complex. Suddenly I thought: is that how I'm supposed to look? For years afterwards, I wanted a nose job, and then a boob job. I still have days where I have a breakout and I feel like sh*t, but I get over it. Now I'm happy with my 'fashion' t*ts; I'm happy with my face. I look in the mirror and I see someone I love."