Sharing her story. As one of the members of the pop group Little Mix, Leigh-Anne Pinnock was thrust into the spotlight and had to deal with the hardships of being judged over the color of her skin. The singer fought back tears while opening up about systematic racism on Friday, June 5, revealing she previously felt like the “least-favored” member of the group.
Leigh-Anne, 28, said she had the “biggest awakening” of her life when she joined the girl group nine years ago. “When we were filming ‘Wings,’ we worked with Frank Gatson. He said to me, ‘You are the black girl, you have to work 10 times harder.’ Never in my life had someone told me I would need to work harder because of my race,” she explained to her fans in a heartfelt video on Instagram.
The performer revealed how “lonely” she felt while touring predominantly white countries. “I sang to fans who don’t see me or hear me or cheer me on,” Leigh-Anne said while getting emotional.
“My reality is constantly feeling like I have to work harder and longer to make my case in the group because my talent alone isn’t enough,” the star added. “My reality is all the times I felt invisible within my group. Part of me is fully aware that my experience would have been ever harder to deal with had I been dark-skinned. Our reality is no matter how far you think you’ve come, racism exists.”
The “Secret Love Song” artist has been feeling heavy in the wake of recent events, including George Floyd’s death on May 25, reflecting on “personal experiences that were triggered due to [her] race” in the caption of her video.
Leigh-Anne noted she’s not speaking out for “sympathy or for you to watch and then go about normal life.” Instead, she wants to take a stand because “enough is enough” and she is optimistic her story will help others learn about the discrimination that still goes on.
“In doing this we are able to approach the bigger issue and break down systemic racism,” she concluded. “All we want is equality and justice for our black community.”
For more information, visit Blacklivesmatter.com.