Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall Reveals She Suffered Anorexia as a Teen
Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards isn’t the only one to have dropped a big bombshell in her girl group’s new book, Our World. According to Jade Thirlwall, she suffered from an eating disorder at 13 when her classmates started bullying her at school.
With her grandfather’s death as the tipping point, Thirlwall’s life went into chaos and, as a coping mechanism, she started to monitor her diet to an unhealthy extent.
“I was about 13 when I got anorexia. I think it was the culmination of a lot of stuff, not just the bullying. My mam and and dad were arguing a lot and my Granda Mohammed, who I was really close to, died,” she wrote in a leaked excerpt. “At 13, you’re at that age when you don’t really have control over anything and I felt as if the only thing I could control was what I was eating. I started skipping meals and stuff like that. I would look in the mirror and it wasn’t that I’d think I was fat, I just had it in my head that I wanted to be really, really skinny.”
Thirlwall admitted that this went on for years by eating “foods [that] would work as a laxative” and throwing her dinner away when her parents weren’t looking. Though she was losing weight rapidly, the singer said no one noticed as she constantly hid her body under baggy clothes.
“My periods stopped and things were getting out of control but I don’t think I really cared about what was happening to me,” she remembered. “I felt so depressed at that time that I just wanted to waste away and disappear.”
Around 14 or 15, Thirlwall’s mother finally caught onto her daughter’s damaging lifestyle when a school counselor notified her parents, telling them the singer had confessed that she “enjoyed feeling hungry.” Though she initially fought with her mom about seeking treatment, Thirlwall eventually went to a clinic for help after she dropped to “around six stone” — or around 84 lbs.
“Anorexia is a self-destructive thing and you become stubborn, so when people are trying to tell you something you get it into your head that they’re against you and you’re not going to listen,” she penned in a passage. “It took going to hospital to make me realize what I was doing, that it wasn’t a game, it was something really serious.”
After visiting another friend who also suffered from anorexia, Thirlwall turned her life around and admitted herself into an out-patient program where she would have weekly weigh-ins and therapy sessions.
“I though, ‘Fucking hell, I can’t do this to my family,'” she wrote. “It shocked me into a change.”
Thirlwall anorexia revelation came amid news that she had to cancel a public appearance due to “a few family problems.” The 23-year-old was notably absent when her bandmates appeared on U.K’s The One Show this week.