Leona Lewis says a "cruel" comment a woman made about her appearance two years ago would've damaged her if she was younger.
The 'Bleeding Love' hitmaker took to social media on Friday (06.12.19) after spending time mentoring teen hopefuls on 'The X Factor: The Band' to share the story in a bid to show teenagers and young women that people who make nasty comments are the people with the issues.
Leona, 34, overheard a woman say "she's not really pretty in real life" when she was out for a meal with friends in 2017, and for a "moment" it really hit "a nerve", but instead of being angry with the person, she actually felt "a great sense of sadness" for them.
In a series of posts on her Instagram Stories, Leona shared: "Been working with 16-18 year old girls for the past couple of days on Xfactor bands.
"I want to share a story that happened to me about 2 years ago, that I think is important to put out there was a woman looking back.
"I was sitting in a restaurant with some friends having dinner and on the table next to me there were 2 women having dinner that recongized me.
"One of them quite loudly said "she's not even pretty in real life".
"I remember one of my friends being so outraged , and for a split second it touched a nerve in me.
"... But then all I remember feeling was a deep sense of sadness for the woman that said it.
"I knew that somewhere inside she felt that way about herself, and I suddenly had a deep understanding for her pain and the fact that she had to inflict it on another person because she is hurting inside .... (sic)"
The 'Better in Time' singer said that if she had been in her teens or twenties, she would have been badly affected by her words and would have likely "subconsciously harmed” herself and go to extreme lengths to change her appearance.
She continued: "This is the effects of society on the female consciousness and this is what we need to heal from a young age.
"If I had heard these words as a teen or in my 20's it would have cut me so deep.
"I would have subconsciously have harmed myself by picking apart my features or crash dieting or some other insanity that we are sold to "make us better" through so many damaging mediums. (sic)"
Now in her thirties, Leona says it’s best to just feel "pure love" for the bully and described that realisation as a "beautiful moment".
She concluded: "As a woman in my 30's I just felt pure LOVE for this other woman.
"I wanted to love her so hard that she would never want to say a cruel word about anyone or herself ever again.
"I was overcome with that LOVE and understanding and it was a transcendent and beautiful moment I'll never forget... (sic)"