Ella Henderson, 16.
With Ella Henderson out of the game that is UK's The X Factor, my never-ending disbelief in talent shows is on the table. Who (and I am referring to the production team) thinks that it is considered a wise move to put a young girl in such a test in the first place? Even professional singers cannot always tackle the pressure of negativism and critique. How can a teenager get out of all this exposure safe and unharmed?
Sixteen year old Ella initially impressed the judges while performing one of her own songs at the first audition and became the youngest finalist to compete in such a reality show. There is no question that she is truly talented with a splendid voice. She left the game having collected rave comments and unexpected fans. In the wake of her exit, she was shortly given the chance to perform live at the Amy Winehouse Foundation Ball. But Ella spoke frankly about the struggles to keep up with the standards of the music industry. For over a year she tottered between being too skinny or too chubby in trying to shape the ideal figure of a pop icon. Not only did she come to terms with her silhouette, but she fought for her principles over the spectacle’s typical counter-demands.
Here’s what she learned on the way:
- "If someone told me to lose weight now, I’d take no notice. My music isn’t going to sound any different whether I look like a bean pole or Mr Blobby."
- "I love doing my hair and make-up and trying out quirky styles, but on a programme like The X Factor they want to do everything to the extreme and break boundaries."
- "Sometimes I have to rein it in a bit. I’ve sat down at a table with them and said, 'OK, I wouldn’t be comfortable on national television wearing a crop top and a pair of hotpants.' That’s not the kind of image I want to portray simply because of the way that I am." (in reference to producer suggestions on The X Factor)
If anything, this is the only way that girls should shine; as being themselves.
Girl Museum Inc.