Little Mix

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
RPF Fandom
Name(s): Little Mix, LM
Scope/Focus: Pop group/music fandom/RPF
Date(s): 2011 -
See also: One Direction
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
Four overlapping images of the four members of Little Mix smiling or singing. Text reads "Competition. Little Mix"
Little Mix - Competition Cover/ Album by LadyWitwicky (2013), fan made album cover

Little Mix is the English girl band which won The X Factor in 2011. Its members are Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jesy Nelson. Nelson officially left the band in December 2020.

See the official website and Wikipedia for canon details.

Fandom Presence

As of May 1, 2022, 707 works are listed under the Little Mix fandom tag on AO3.

Although some fanworks focus exclusively on the members of the group, a majority of Little Mix stories are crossovers with One Direction, as the bands are canonically linked: both started on the same show - though not the same season - and were signed to Simon Cowell's label. Moreover, Perrie dated former 1D member Zayn Malik for four years. Little Mix members therefore often appear as supporting characters in 1D fanworks, providing much-needed feminine characters.

They also appear frequently in Union J fanfiction for the same reason; both bands started on The X Factor (in different seasons) and Little Mix member Jesy Nelson briefly dated Union J member George Shelley, the most popular character in Union J stories.

In Fandom

One of the ways in which Little Mix is most prevalent across fandom is the frequency with which their music is used to make fanvids. Some of the most popular fanvids set to and inspired by Little Mix songs include

Little Mix's songs with themes of female empowerment are most used when vidding. These songs include "Salute," "Power," "The National Manthem," "Wings," and others.


Feminist Themes

The band has been celebrated by fans for representing diversity and for promoting female empowerment, solidarity and friendship through their behaviour, songs and videos:

They’re not a homogenous group of women. They’re different sizes and races, and all of them are equally celebrated. In an industry that disproportionately celebrates and recognizes women who are thin and white, the diversity of the members is significant in itself. But it goes above and beyond just this: Perrie, who is a conventionally attractive thin white woman, is not the lead singer. All four members have approximately equal representation vocally, which was a conscious decision made by them and their X Factor mentor Tulisa Contostavlos. In critiquing one of their performances, judge Louis Walsh suggested that Perrie be elevated to lead singer status due to what he perceived as her especially strong vocals. All four girls and Tulisa were adamantly opposed to this idea, explaining the importance of equality within the group.[1]

They also spoke out against online bullying following the abuse received by member Jesy Nelson due to being curvier than other members.

Problematic Behaviour

Repeated occurrences of ignorant comments (for example about not identifying as feminist), appropriative behaviour, casual racism or cissexism, and comparing women to each other have led to the band in general and Perrie Edwards in particular being called out by people in as well as outside of fandom.[2][3][4][5] Most recently, their Black Magic music video received some critique from fans for apparently showing the band bullying another girl.[6]


Stats provided as of April 30, 2015, according to the AO3 sidebar.

Crossover Ships

Perrie/Zayn, being a canon ship, is by far the most represented ship involving Little Mix, with 1527 works. However, it is not generally the focus of the story: it often appears as a background ship in stories focusing on juggernaut One Direction ships (such as Larry) or slash ships involving Zayn. These stories might involve infidelity, "on-tour arrangements" or poly relationships.

Other stories sometimes pair up other members of Little Mix with members of One Direction, for example Liam/Jade, Niall/Jesy, etc.

Intra-band Ships

Intra-band f/f pairings are much rarer, which is typical of femslash ships.

The fact that the most prevalent ships involve Perrie could be due to the widely-practiced fandom trend of breaking up a het relationship by pairing up the girlfriend with another girl, in order to free the male half of the relationship for slashing.

Example Fanworks

LM as Supporting Cast

Fandom Resources


Other Fanworks

External Links


  1. ^ The cultural importance of Little Mix, part 1 by thepopcultureprincess (posted to Tumblr in 2014)
  2. ^ Little Mix Wants Fans To Dress Like 'Salute Warriors' For Their Tour,, posted May 8, 2014: The band shared their outfits from their "Salute" video as inspiration–seeing them on hangers underscores how much leather and metal are involved in the looks. The group also pinned some unrelated looks that they deemed appropriate for warriors. There's an elaborate mohawk braid, some armor from a runway show, and more. There are also some pop culture references like Xena: Warrior Princess and Wonder Woman. And unfortunately, there are also a number of pictures of feather headdresses, "warrior face paint," and "tribal" nail art, which is problematic.
  3. ^ Tumblr user Waspabi's answers to sparkly-boots' ask about LM saying they're not feminist posted in 2014: sparkly-boots asked: Hey Kelly. So there's a thing with Little Mix right now saying they aren't feminists, and the thing is I think that their message is still sound because females sticking together is a message I'm here for, and I don't believe that their ignorance on what feminism is negates that - however I also saw a post saying that IF Little Mix are going around singing songs about female empowerment they should at least know what feminism is.
  4. ^ little mix & cissexism tweet by @urfavesucks, posted March 9, 2015
  5. ^ 'We don't need to act sexy to sell records' on – Admittedly, the comparisons to other artists here are made by the writer and not the band, but in this interview, Jade says, "There's no need to do that kind of dancing," and Jesy claims "We don't feel like we have to have really skimpy outfits," which some fans feel is disingenuous. (12 July 2015)
  6. ^ FIRST IMPRESSIONS: LITTLE MIX’S “BLACK MAGIC”see this article for a variety of reactions to the video. (29 May 2015)