Jesy Nelson’s Boyz music video has been the centre of controversy (Picture: Getty)
Jesy Nelson has urged others to ‘be kind’ after she was accused of blackfishing in her Boyz music video.
The former Little Mix singer debuted her new track last Friday along with the music video, which featured cameos from Diddy and Nicki Minaj.
It’s Jesy’s first solo release since quitting the British girl group last year.
However, the visuals quickly came under fire with many pointing out Jesy’s darker skin complexion and the general references to Black culture, leading to claims of cultural appropriation.
In particular, Jesy was accused of blackfishing, which refers to someone who changes their appearance to appear Black or racially ambiguous.
Amid the storm of controversy, the 30-year-old singer shared a post in her Instagram stories to acknowledge Mental Health Awareness Day on Sunday.
‘Mental illness is not always visible. 10.10.21. Be kind to others. Your [sic] not alone #mentalhealthawarenessday,’ she wrote.
Jesy said mental health is ‘not always visible’ (Picture: @jesynelson, Instagram)
Jesy has been open about her own mental health struggles in the past. The Woman Like Me singer announced she was quitting Little Mix last December after struggling with the pressure of being a girl band and the constant comparisons to her bandmates.
In 2019, the pop star appeared in the documentary Odd One Out, in which she detailed how social media trolling impacted her mental health.
Speaking to Fearne Cotton recently on her Happy Place podcast, Jesy revealed that she had a music video scheduled a week after she tried to take her own life.
Following the blackfishing backlash, Jesy addressed the controversy in an interview with Vulture and said: ‘I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t.
‘I mean, like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That’s all I know, it’s what I grew up on.’
She added: ‘I take all those comments made seriously. I would never intentionally do anything to make myself look racially ambiguous, so that’s why I was initially shocked that the term was directed at me.’