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Camila Cabello Fought Against Being Sexualized in Fifth Harmony: ‘I’ve Had to Put My Foot Down’

camila cabello lenny letter
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

It’s been less than a month since Camila Cabello officially shattered the illusion of a united front and announced she’d quit her former band Fifth Harmony, but already the seedy truths of being one part of a five-member girl group are spilling out.

Cabello sat down for an interview with Lena Dunham for the Girls actress’ bi-weekly newsletter, Lenny Letter, just days before parting ways with the group. In it, she revealed the forced and uncomfortable sexualization the members often faced from those in charge, in an attempt to elicit a profit.

“Especially with being a girl group, there’s been a lot of times where people have tried to sexualize us to just get more attention. Unfortunately, sex sells,” she said. “There’s definitely been times where there’s stuff that I have not been comfortable with and I’ve had to put my foot down.

“There’s nothing wrong with showing sexuality,” Cabello noted. “If you have that inside, it’s just an expression of who you are. If you want to share that with people, that’s amazing. I love that. Look at Rihanna. She’s so sexy. She comes from Planet Sexy. I worship her. I really, really do.”

“I feel like it’s been tricky because we’ve had to grow into ourselves while being in front of the world and while making songs that did have a lot of sexual undertones,” she continued before offering advice to young women.

“I think the thing that I would say to young women is, if you’re not ready for it, put your foot down,” she said.

The “Miss Movin’ On” singer also talked about how a semi-hands off approach to social media helps her preserve her sanity — a tactic she likely employs more fervently than ever, post-exit.

“The best decision that I’ve taken in my career thus far has been this year I’ve just stayed away from social media,” she told Dunham. “I don’t go on it, and I just keep myself focused on getting better and growing as an artist and finding different ways to grow as a person. It’s just kept me grounded, and I don’t have one thousand people thinking that they didn’t like my shoes.”

Listen to a condensed version of Camila Cabello’s interview with Lena Dunham via SoundCloud above and head over to Lenny Letter to read more of the exchange..

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