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Leigh-Anne Pinnock speaks out in new documentary ‘Leigh-Anne : Race, Pop and Power’

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Fashion icon and member of the biggest girl band in the world, Leigh-Anne Pinnock from Little Mix, has spoken out about the effects of racism not just across the country, but during her time in the band and the struggle she faces.

Leigh-Anne has a brand new documentary airing soon, ‘Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop and Power’ and just like the name suggests, she will be talking about her journey in the band and the ongoing battle shes faced with regards to racism, the power she holds being in the band, yet seamlessly feeling completely ignored.

She talks about how ‘’lost and invisible’’ she has felt in the past, and the documentary focuses on where these feelings originated from, and she questions if she was only put in the group for diversity purposes, referring to herself as the ‘’token black girl’’.

Not feeling good enough is something Leigh-Anne also expresses throughout the documentary, explaining how it was always at the back of her mind “I feel like it ruined a lot of my experience, which should have been the best time of my life. It’s f***ing frustrating.”

In comparison to her other band mates – Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall and ex band mate, Jesy Nelson – she points out how she always felt the least popular, sharing a certain experience which first made her feel that was the case. She described a moment where her and the other girls had stepped off of a plane, there were fans waiting, and although she was the first of the band to walk over, the fans walked over to the other 3 girls instead.

‘’And you can’t pretend it’s not happening, feeling invisible, feeling that people would just look past me’’

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The new BBC documentary set to air soon, features other Black female artists such as Alexandra Burke and Sugababe Keisha Buchanan. They all share their experiences and thoughts, Keisha Buchanan says ‘’I don’t know if this is a compliment or not, but I definitely think you were chosen for your blackness’’

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Although saying she hasn’t experienced explicit racial abuse, Leigh-Anne does share a moment which has stayed with her from a young girl:

‘’As a child, the only time I ever experienced racism was one time at primary school. A boy handed me a note that just said, ‘Name: Leigh-Anne. Age: Nine. From: The jungle’. I was devastated’’

“I had never been made to feel like I didn’t belong before. It turned out I wouldn’t be made to feel like that again until my life changed overnight a decade later.”

Ahead of her documentary, Leigh-Anne spoke to ex-bandmate, Jesy Nelson, to get advice on putting yourself out there about something personal. Jesy aired her very well received documentary last year (Odd One Out) on mental health, opening up about the downside to being in the world-famous girl group, and the effects it had on her mental state.

Just like Jesy, Leigh-Anne shows that you never know what happens behind the scenes, and there are certainly downs with the ups.

After shooting the documentary last year, Leigh-Anne set up her non-profit organisation The Black Fund, to finance internships and mentor-ships for black people in the creative industries.

She has also just announced her pregnancy with fiancé Andre Gray, so massive congratulations! And good luck with the new show airing 13th May.

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