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Originally named ‘Rhythmix’, the 4 – now 3 – strong girl group Little Mix are celebrating their 10-year anniversary this year. They exceeded expectations in 2011 by becoming the first group to ever win the X-Factor – a feat that was not accomplished again until Rak-Su in 2017. As an avid Little Mix fan – a Mixer if you will – I wanted to look back at some of the accomplishments of Little Mix and why I love and respect them so greatly.  

In their 10 years as a band, the girls have scooped up an enormous 53 awards. They are the most nominated female group at the Brit Awards and are also the most nominated act at the Global Awards. They have won monumental awards, such as Best British Single at the Brit Awards for ‘Shout Out to My Ex’, Best UK and Ireland act at the MTV Europe Music Awards and Best Group at the Global Awards (3 years running). There most ground-breaking however was the win of the Best British Group award at the 2021 Brit Awards, making them the first ever girl group to do so in its 43-year history. Whilst accepting this award, they thanked the many colossal girl groups that paved the way and took the opportunity to call out the misogyny and racism of the music industry. 

Even though they are undeniably one of the biggest girl groups to ever exist in the music industry, they have also achieved so much outside of this. Notably, Jesy and Leigh-Anne’s documentaries. Jesy – whilst still part of the group – created a documentary discussing online hate and bullying. She was unfortunately not a stranger to online trolls and hate throughout her time in Little Mix. This was such a powerful and important piece that she won the Factual Entertainment award for ‘Odd One Out’ in 2020 and the Documentary of the Year Award at the Visionary Arts Foundation Awards. Even though Jesy decided to leave the group at the end of 2020 due to her mental health, she still very much had a part in creating an environment surrounding Little Mix of acceptance, love and positivity. 

Leigh-Anne recently discussed racism in the music industry through her documentary ‘Race, Pop & Power’. She discussed her own experiences of racism both in the UK in general but also through Little Mix in the music industry and abroad. She discussed her experiences with her family and fiancé and even challenged people on their thoughts surrounding racism and colourism. It is hoped this documentary will also pick up some awards but either way, it has undeniably had an impact on a wider audience amongst her fans and the general public.  

The girls have also collectively fought misogyny throughout their 10 years. They have on many occasions had lies written about them in the press which they have called out and refused to answer press questions that would not be asked of a man. They have also worked to be allies to the LGBTQ+ community over their time together – particularly Jade. Their hit ‘Secret Love Song’ is widely recognised to be written about an LGBTQ+ relationship and is often used to fly the pride flag during concerts. Even in countries where being gay is illegal, the girls have continually shown their stance and solidarity with the community.  

Through their musical success, their activism and promotion of independence and self-love, Little Mix have garnered millions of fans across the world. They have consistently stood up for themselves and become role models for not only younger girls growing up today but also many young adults stepping into the real world for the first time. They have taught us to never back down, to fight for what we believe is right, and to stand behind those who need our support; all the while creating some head bopping tunes! 

Masters student at the University of Aberdeen!
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