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12 December 2016

Little Mix shock The X Factor’s (apparently Victorian) audience by daring to perform in bodysuits

Every time this group return to the talent show, viewers are seemingly shocked anew by their fairly tame outfits.

By Anna Leszkiewicz

Another year, another Little Mix performance on The X Factor. Actually, last night’s final was the second time the band returned to the talent show that made their names this year – yes, Little Mix are so successful, and therefore so key to The X Factor’s self-mythologising , that they are one of the only acts invited back twice per series.

While Little Mix get better and better with each passing performance, and their fan base grows accordingly, they have, in recent years, become subject to a strange phenomenon. Every time they appear on The X Factor, tabloids cry of the “backlash” to the band.  Last night was no different.

Their crime? Well, their performance involved each member stripping down from what looked like a leather version of Marge Simpson’s pink Chanel suit to reveal differently styled bodysuits. Yes, bodysuits, which, let’s face it, have been the standard gear for women in pop since the mid-Eighties. Yes, you can see their thighs. Maybe Jade’s got her tummy on show, or Jesy’s cleavage is visible. Your standard stage get up.

This isn’t the first time Little Mix have faced this accusation – their performances of “Shout Out to My Ex” earlier this year, “Black Magic” last year both received similar attention, and their early tours were scrutinised by tabloids for the same reason.

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Either viewers of the X Factor are almost exclusively Victorian nuns who faint at the sight of female legs, or these stories are a tad disingenuous, as journalists scour through social media feeds gathering any occasional slut-shaming comment they can find.

But fans are unbothered, and, so, too are Little Mix. In their own words: “Oh, we do love a reveal…”