Shawn Mendes is opening up about his struggle with body acceptance and how his girlfriend, “Havana” singer Camila Cabello, taught him to love his imperfections.
Speaking with GQ for a recent interview, Mendes recounted that he began feeling self conscious about his image.
“Some days I would have three hours of sleep, [because] I’d get up two hours early just to be able to work out,” the 22-year-old revealed, saying his inner voice threatened him with ominous messages, such as, “If you don’t work out, you’re going to lose fans.”
After securing a successful partnership with Calvin Klein, the pressure became worse for Mendes because, after posing for one of their campaigns, he felt he needed to be the “pinnacle of fitness.”
On top of that, the “Stitches” singer felt pressure to maintain a squeaky clean image.
“I held myself accountable to that image of not doing anything wrong, or saying anything wrong, so hard over the last few years,” Mendes confessed, a fear that he addresses in his new song “Monster” that features Justin Bieber.
As for how he stepped away from that unhealthy mindset, Mendes says he was inspired by how Cabello responded to the criticism she faced.
The Canadian singer was so impressed by her ability to take the high road every time, adding she was, “So strong, so clear and confident with her [body] and so articulate and empathetic about other people’s.”
Her ability to accept her body and imperfections “really changed my view of mine. It really changed my life,” says Mendes.
The “Mercy” singer attests he’s now taking better care of himself and claims, “taking that extra few hours of sleep, instead of waking up to pump iron, is a better choice sometimes.”
By Megan Stone
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