The sexualisation of Little Mix

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Never thought I’d write a blog about Little Mix but after their performance last night on the X Factor I felt compelled to do so. 

I used to be a regular viewer of the X Factor (and saw the whole of series 8 in 2011 when Little Mix got their big break), but have lost interest over the past few years and now only catch an occasional glimpse every now and then. 

This was a girl group who represented “the girl next door” – normal young girls who come in different shapes and sizes, all beautiful in their own way, and did not need to conform to the magazine stereotype or shed clothes to gain popularity or feel good about themselves. The picture below was taken in 2011 and is largely how I remember Little Mix. 


So it saddened me to see them sell themselves out last night when performing their latest single, in outfits more suitable for strippers than for their original fanbase of teen and pre-teen girls (photo below). 


We live in an age where women rightfully demand equal treatment to men, but until female role models like Little Mix learn to respect themselves and their own beliefs and do not allow the likes of Simon Cowell to restyle them by sexualising them, it is difficult to see societal norms changing any time soon. The girls of Little Mix and their contemporaries need to start making a stand against this kind of sexual exploitation and ensure that they continue to represent their fans rather than reinforcing unhelpful stereotypes on their young and impressionable fanbase. 

As per so many girl groups, Little Mix appear to be getting raunchier and more provocative as they become increasingly famous. If the choice they have been given is between success as a “slutty” girl group or disappear into oblivion while sticking to their principles then I understand the decision they have made. But I would like to think that there is another path which could bring both success and dignity. 

Sex sells. I get that. But so too does good music. Little Mix should have had enough belief in their abilities as singers to sell records and bypass their own sexual degradation. 

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