Little Mix are absolutely killing it with their careers. In the seven years that they have been making music, the girls have earned multiple no. 1 singles, won major awards and smashed glass ceilings. However, that doesn't mean they haven't struggled to get there.
The girls, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Jesy Nelson have experienced plenty of racism and sexism on their way to stardom, and they're finally opening up about it.
Talking to ASOS Magazine, they even revealed how their record label, Columbia, encouraged them to flirt with important music figures to get themselves on U.S. radio stations.
"Years ago we went to a radio event in America, full of VIPs," Jade explained to te mag. "Someone from our U.S. label Columbia said, 'Go and flirt with all those important men.' I was like, 'f*k off.' Why have I got to go in and flirt to get my song on the radio?"
Jesy explained how the girls were also discouraged to put their own creative input into their music and music videos. "We were told by one massive producer in the U.S. that we shouldn't be writing, that we should just be given songs," Jesy said. "We realised we — as women — have to work 10 times as hard.
As for Leigh-Anne, she had to push herself through the prominent racism in the industry, that still exists today.
"During the first couple of years of being in the band, I did feel invisible. I remember crying to my manager regularly, I just couldn't seem to find my place and didn't know why. I didn't feel like I had as many fans as the other girls," she told the magazine. "I felt overlooked. So I did everything to make myself more noticed, convinced I wasn't good enough."
Leigh revealed how Beyonce's creative director Frank Gatson once explained to her that as "the black girl, you have to work twice as hard."
"We have a massive problem with racism which is built into our society. It's scary," Leigh-Anne continued. "But the more people that speak out, the more change we can start to make."
Little Mix's newest single ft. Nicki Minaj, "Woman Like Me" is their message of power. Perrie explains "that's what LM5 is about, empowering women to be who they are."