“What is health if you are so fixated on what your body looks like that your mental health suffers and you can’t enjoy your life?,” the singer shared on Instagram.
Camila Cabello on a designed background
Credit: Getty Images / Telemundo

Camila Cabello, the "Havana" singer and star of 2021's Cinderella, has had enough of being photographed by the paparazzi. She took to Instagram this week with a message about the pressure she feels knowing that images of her at the beach will eventually show up online and in tabloids.

"Every time I've gone to this beach club in Miami, I get papped—somehow when I check in, paps know and get me in my bikini," Cabello wrote. "Every time I've felt super vulnerable and unprepared." In the past, she added, she had paid no attention to what she wore down to the beach, then saw photos and comments the next day that left her feeling upset.

While Cabello wants to ignore the pictures and hurtful words from folks online, in the end, she says, she ends up feeling pressure to look perfect. 

"I want to feel like I look 'good,'" Cabello explained. "Today I got a new bikini, a whole f—in' cute outfit, put lipgloss on and didn't eat anything too heavy before going in the OCEAN because I knew it was gonna be basically a whole photoshoot." When she got into the water, Cabello says, she felt like she was on display—she held her core, barely breathed and didn't smile much. A group of kids playing together, Cabello wrote, reminded her that the beach had previously been a place she went to feel carefree and relaxed. These days, she spends her beach time feeling "so self-conscious."

Our hearts hurt for Cabello! No one should feel like they have to refrain from eating anything to look a certain way, let alone "barely breathe." 

Cabello went on to explain that she knew the photos the paparazzi had taken would make her look "good," but that didn't make her feel any better about her bad day. Like many people, Cabello said that societal expectations about what a "healthy" person looks like left her feeling "empty" and "sad."

"I wanted to talk about this because we see pictures of women and praise them for looking good, for looking fit or 'healthy,'" Cabello wrote. "But what is health if you are so fixated on what your body looks like that your mental health suffers and you can't enjoy your life? Who am I trying to look attractive for, and am I even attractive to myself if I can't let loose and relax and have fun and be playful on a beautiful day at the beach?"

We couldn't agree more with that sentiment. 

Cabello added that while she knows what she looks like shouldn't affect her happiness or health, "emotionally, the messaging I get from our world is loud in my own head." And with people online constantly sharing their opinions on celebrities' bodies—from Nicola Coughlan to Lizzo—it's easy to see why Cabello might dread discourse about her own looks. After all, it's no one's business but her own!

"P.S., I ran away to the pool area where hopefully they can't get me, but they literally hide in the bushes sometimes," Cabello wrote at the end of her post. "I'm exhausted lol." Other celebrities, including Paris Hilton and Lily Collins, rolled into the comments section to voice their appreciation for Cabello's honesty. "This made me cry," Hilton wrote. "Thank you for writing this, so important for people to hear. You are beautiful inside and out."

Many more commented to express their sympathies, including fans who have similar body image struggles, but without the bonus baggage of photographers lurking everywhere. "I can only imagine how you feel," one person wrote. "I feel this way every time I go to the beach or to a pool party or something, and I don't even have cameras following me around."

Cabello's post probably won't bring the paparazzi industry to its knees, but hopefully it changes the minds of some folks who always feel the need to comment on others' looks—whether it's negative or positive. In October, Jonah Hill also posted a message asking people to "not comment on my body, good or bad." That's a pretty good rule of thumb. 

When it comes to giving your opinion on another person's body, it's best to keep it to yourself. Someone's shape doesn't define them or their health—and no one wants to hear unsolicited opinions about their personal life.