Jade Thirlwall says Little Mix ‘saved’ her from anorexia she battled as teen
Jade Thirlwall has opened up about her battle with anorexia, admitting that joining Little Mix "saved" her.
The singer, 27, revealed that the illness developed when she was the victim of bullying at school, and went on to last from the age of 13 to when she was 18-years-old.
She said starring in X Factor in 2011 kick started her recovery because the other band members Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson boosted her confidence.
Speaking to The Guardian , Jade explained: "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 credited the support she got from the other girls for helping her recover.
She added: "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."
Jade suffered from the eating disorder for five years which lead to her being treated in hospital and her periods stopping.
Her ribs were "sticking out" and she would dress in baggy clothes to hide her tiny frame, but decided to get help when she grew "tired of hating herself so much".
She previously told the BBC Sounds Life Hacks podcast: "I was at hospital and the doctors told me that I would die if I kept doing it.
"To hear somebody say that to you is actually quite scary and I started to realise how damaging it was for my family."
She underwent regular therapy sessions and was discharged just weeks before she auditioned for The X Factor in 2011.
Little Mix went on to win the show and have enjoyed global success with millions of fans across the world.
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