We might have made a lot of strides when it comes to body image but we still have a very long way to go and I especially feel that way after reading Camila Mendes’ recent cover story in Nylon’s July issue. The Brazilian-American actress and Riverdale star is over the stigmas, over-sexualization, and censorships that surrounds women’s bodies and the way we talk about them. She got candid about how she feels about her own body and why she thinks it’s so important we do something to banish these outdated mentalities.
“I probably would show my tits to anybody,” Mendes says. That may not seem like the most empowering or articulate thing to read in a celebrity cover interview but if you read on you’ll see why the 24-year-old’s stance on body image is actually a lot more refreshing than it may initially seem. “I actually would probably do that. I really don’t care. It’s just this genuine, Yea, these are my boobs. Is there a problem? I don’t understand what the problem is” she adds.
The writer who interviewed Mendes agrees that she doesn’t see a problem either and goes into Mendes’ unapologetic attitude about how we need to stop shaming women about their bodies.
“When I’ve been in photo shoots, and there’s a little bit of my nipple showing, there’s always a whole conversation about it. Like with NYLON, everyone was just like, ‘Is this okay? Are we going to do this?’ And I was like,’ Everyone stop talking about it. Let’s just go shoot. This isn’t a conversation,” she says. “I completely shut it down and said that was something that we were not going to sit there and debate, because I know how I feel about it, and I’m totally fine to take a photo with my tits showing.”
There’s a reason why Mendes has over 10 million followers on Instagram and it’s like the writer mentions—it’s due to her transparency on social. We’re living in a day and age where everyone wants to make their lives look as perfect and appealing on Instagram as possible. True transparency and lack of filtered photos is hard to come by but Mendes believes it’s the best way to be.
“I am a very open just in general with people,” she adds. “I’m also willing to talk about anything at any given moment in time. I thrive off that. I have to actively try to keep things private. My first instinct is to be open. Most of the time, I’m like, ‘Fuck it!. I’m just going to talk about this.’ I am not precious about a lot of stuff. I am just the type of person who enjoys connecting with people over absolutely anything.”
This is far from the first time Mendes has been open about her body. The actress has been very open about her history with eating disorders and dealing with body image. She’s shared why she wouldn’t diet again and constantly promotes body positivity and self-love on her Instagram.
“I only recently started dealing with my own eating disorder. So, as I was dealing with it, it felt like it was a good opportunity to talk about that, because I’m still in that vulnerable state too,” she admits. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, I am so past that phase of my life. I’m so perfect and happy now.’ I’m still struggling and I’m still dealing with all of those things. I might always still struggle.”
It takes a lot of courage and strength to admit such vulnerabilities and struggles to the open—especially when you’re such a public figures and I truly commend Mendes for that. We need more folks—not just celebs—to be raw and honest like this on social media. We need more people like this working to make social media less toxic and more of a safe and useful space.