Jade had a tough time in her teens

Something that is so key to the success and loveability of Little Mix is their dedication to always be real with their fans – through their music, and words spoken elsewhere, the girls make a habit of upfront about their feelings.

Now, Jade Thirlwall has kept up this tradition by revealing a heartbreaking struggle with anorexia in her teen years.

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Writing in Little Mix’s new book, Our World, the petite singer reveals that she’d suffered bullying at school, some of it racially motivated. Along with that, the death of her grandfather, and arguments between her parents, she developed the eating disorder at the age of 13.

‘At thirteen, you’re at the age when you don’t really have control over anything and I felt as if the only thing I could control was what I was eating,’ Jade, 23, explained.

Detailing how she’d hide food and take a long time to finish meals, the popstar went on to reveal that by the time she was ‘fourteen or fifteen’, she’d reached the worryingly low weight of six stone.

‘My periods stopped and things were getting out of control but I don’t think I really cared about what was happening to me,’ she admitted.

‘I felt so depressed at the time that I just wanted to waste away and disappear.’

Jade at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, June 2016

Jade at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, June 2016

Once her mum noticed that she’d been losing weight dramatically, her family rallied round in an effort to help – and eventually, Jade sought medical help.

‘I started going to a clinic for eating disorders in Sunderland. My weight had dropped to around six stone by then. It took going to hospital to make me realize that it wasn’t a game, it was something really serious.

‘They sat me down in the clinic and were quite tough at first, spelling it out: “You’re destroying your body and if you keep doing this you will die.”‘

Happily, regular sessions at the hospital and therapy helped get her back on the right path – and by the time she auditioned for The X Factor, she’d overcome her battle.

‘It took a couple of years to recover from anorexia but I gradually got better and just before I went in for The X Factor in 2011 I was discharged from hospital.’

Though it’s such a sad story, we couldn’t be gladder for Jade’s eventual recovery – and how it’s helped to shape her into the absolute *queen* she is today!