It doesn't get much closer than the connection between Little Mix and the group's fans, but there's one arena in which member Perrie Edwards is hoping followers will keep their distance.

In an interview with the United Kingdom's Cosmopolitan published today (March 29), Edwards, whose August 2015 breakup with four-year boyfriend Zayn Malik got international attention, recalled sorting through the hurt of suffering on such a public stage.

"When it's your personal life, something you're going through, I think people should f--- off and have respect," she said. "At the end of the day, we are real people going through real things."

Formerly a homebody, Edwards said she's now making up for lost party-time, and explained her new perspective on relationships is "Don't have one!"

"I'm going to have a drink," she admitted. "I'll be awake late with Leigh-Anne [Pinnock] this time round. Times have changed. Rewind to four or five years ago and I'd have been like, 'No we don't really party'. Now I'm like, 'Yeah!'"

Still, that's not to say Little Mix have become totally untroubled. They still sort through self-doubt that stems from online body-shamers, they explain — Perrie hates her ankles because of a "cankles" comment issued years ago, and mentions of Jesy Nelson's weight during X Factor filming used to reduce her to tears.

"I was shocked at the time," Nelson said. "I was a young girl and I thought, 'What have I done to you? Why do you have to be mean to me?' I'm not a nasty person and I took it to heart. Some of the things people said were disgusting. It really affected me."

What do you think of Little Mix's words? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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