As bikini season begins, the star is fighting the good fight.
Camila Cabello is not done waging her righteous war against harmful body shaming trolls and the paparazzi who fuel them. After being photographed at a beach club in Miami, the singer took to social media to discuss the psychological effects of having her corporal form scrutinized on the internet. “Every time I go to this beach club in Miami I get papped — somehow when I check in the paps know and get me in my bikini and every time I’ve felt vulnerable and unprepared,” Cabello wrote in a post shared on both Twitter and Instagram.
Luckily, the Cinderella star knows the truth about negative societal conditioning. “I reminded myself when it impacted my [self-]esteem that I was thinking the culture's thoughts and not my own,” she continued. “A culture who has gotten so used to an image of what a 'healthy' woman's body looks like that is completely not real for a lot of women.” But Cabello also admitted she’s human and still succumbs to the pressure to have a body that fits unrealistic expectations fed to us by an insidious beauty industry. She lamented that she spent that day in Miami unable to enjoy herself, for fear of relaxing too much and giving paps a shot that people could mock.
“Today I got a new bikini, a whole fuckin cute outfit, put lip gloss on, and didn't eat anything too heavy before going in the OCEAN cause I knew it was gonna be basically a whole photoshoot...I held my core so tight my abs hurt and didn't breathe and barely smiled and was so self conscious of where the paps were the whole time I couldn't let go and relax and do what we're meant to do when we go out into nature,” she wrote. Cabello added that she wanted to speak out because she knew she looked “good” in the photos and would be praised for fitting into society’s stereotype of what a woman’s body should look like — but it hadn’t been worth it considering the cost on her mental health. “I’ve never had a worse time at the beach. I felt the emptiness and sadness at our culture’s thoughts that became my thoughts,” she said.
This isn’t the first time Cabello has spoken out about the body shaming she’s experienced. Last summer, she spoke to Bustle extensively about the issue and said that through therapy, she’s been able to fight back against the messages society sends us. “You can work out a few hours a day and never eat carbs and whatever, but that's just not a balanced life. That's not what I want,” she said. This came after a viral TikTok video that earned her high favor with people long sick of forced body image issues, in which Cabello counter-trolled the people who would go so far as to ridicule her perfectly healthy body while she was out for a run.
“I actually felt so liberated when I posted that...After that, I went to the airport and so many women were coming up to me like, ‘I saw that TikTok and it resonated with me so much,’” she told Bustle. “I actually feel my body insecurities went down after I posted that because I was like, ‘No matter what pictures come out or what people say, I'm now controlling the narrative.’” Clearly, Cabello is continuing to control her own narrative. The star ended her recent Twitter post with a wish to return to a younger self image, “happy, silly, breathing, pretending to be a mermaid, FREE.”