For context, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall have also experienced body image issues. Perrie was born with esophageal atresia which resulted in her not being able to eat properly. She’s had two operations–the first of which Perrie has called “life-saving”–and bears a long scar down towards her bellybutton. Jade, on the other hand, battled anorexia and was hospitalized at the age of thirteen. In recent years she’s expressed concern over the media viewing her as “too skinny.”
Jesy is well-aware of her former bandmates’s struggles and that’s why this next example was hard to watch when it happened.
When the girls were hosting a livestream back in April 2020, Jesy started talking about Perrie having a fast metabolism (which is not something to necessarily be proud of or envy, since it can lead to health issues). Jesy playfully whines, “How are you not fat?” Perrie cracks a nervous smile, but the rant turns somewhat awkward and serious as Jesy goes on.
“This is one thing that really peeves me off about Perrie,” she says to nearly twenty thousand people who were viewing the stream. “She can eat whatever she wants and then she’ll come in two weeks later, when she’s been eating like an absolute pig, and be like, ‘Oh, I’ve lost weight!'”
Perrie tries to laugh it off, then Jesy finishes her rant with: “I want to be one of those people who’s really happy for her but it really sets me off.”
As the stream continues, Jade joins Jesy and she casually mentions that her diet hasn’t been the best during quarantine. Jesy immediately tries to interrupt her.
“I’ve eaten so much shit,” Jade tells the viewers. “Like you wouldn’t even believe it.”
Jesy, clearly disgruntled, snaps: “But you don’t put on any weight!”
You mock your friend for “eating too much” and then remind another one, who used to be anorexic, that she doesn’t gain enough/any weight. That’s not playful behavior; it’s toxic and needs to be recognized as such. There was no excuse for Jesy to say those things, let alone in front of thousands of people. What’s even more outrageous is that it’s hypocritical of her to do such a thing.
In her 2019 interview with Glamour Magazine UK, she stands by the notion that “making someone the butt of a joke” can “completely change their mindset and how they see themselves.” Friends who you consider to be your sisters are no exception, Jesy. Furthermore, she even told the interviewer: “You must feel really crap about yourself to make someone feel that low.” Oh, the irony.