Last year, around this time, I wrote an article entitled “The Hate Towards Camila Cabello and Why It Is Not Okay“. I was hoping for people to realize that even if they were not happy with what was going on, what they were saying wasn’t justified by any means. People were insanely cruel, some of it coming from her own fans, and I wanted them to understand that her ability to read and research was still present (somehow, people seem to forget that).
Unfortunately, it is December once again, and I have little choice but to bring the subject up again. The message didn’t seem to stick.
In fall 2015, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes decided to release a single together – “I Know What You Did Last Summer“. I truly expected Fifth Harmony fans to be excited, because who doesn’t love new music?
Sadly, that just wasn’t the way things went.
Some fans were, in fact, thrilled about the release. The song was and is incredible, telling a heartbreaking story in simple, yet beautifully haunting lyrics and melodies. However, because she was still an active member of Fifth Harmony, many didn’t take it well.
I tried to explain that artists often do solo work while they are still in a band. I used Adam Levine as a reference, citing that he has had a number of singles and collaborations outside of Maroon 5. I couldn’t use this before, but a more recent example would be Lauren Jauregui, who released a song outside of her band with Marian Hill. She received a lot of praise for her choice, and fun fact: she’s from Fifth Harmony too.
Still, the animosity continued, even after “I Know What You Did Last Summer” faded out. Camila had her focus on Fifth Harmony (though it was never really off 5H), but that just didn’t seem to be enough for some. Because she had that solo song under her belt, she was no longer seen as loyal. The fact that she was present at every Fifth Harmony event/performance there was, giving her all during their performances, meant little to the ones refusing to accept her decision.
It got worse when Camila announced “Bad Things“, a collaboration between her and Machine Gun Kelly.
Despite it being released during a time Fifth Harmony wasn’t promoting a new album or touring, it was yet again taken wrongly. The hate never really stopped, but it definitely became more prominent. Harmonizers became more divided than they already were. The news about Lauren’s solo venture did not stop any of the comments.
I would love to say that is where the hatred ends. I would love to stop right there, knowing there wasn’t anything worse than all that. However, if I finished the article up with that, if I claimed that was the worst that went on, I would be horribly dishonest.
Yesterday evening, it multiplied.
At around 6 PM PST, Fifth Harmony released an announcement explaining that Camila’s representatives informed them she was leaving the band.
First off, yes, I expected fans to be mad. Hell, I was upset myself. It is not an easy thing when a member from one of your favorite bands decides it is time to move on. Many fandoms, such as Directioners, understand the pain it causes. If a band is a huge part of your life, it can feel like your world is over. If you see a band as a constant and suddenly a drastic change is made, you can become really lost.
Camila’s name was trending for some of the night, so I decided to click on it. I wasn’t sure what I was anticipating, but it surely wasn’t what I saw.
Through the mess of tweets, it was hard to find messages supporting Camila’s decision. There was so much hatred, so many people disgracing her without knowing the full story, and it was honestly sickening. Fifth Harmony has always been about female empowerment and love. I saw barely any of that as I looked through everything.
Tweets were saying that because of her departure, Fifth Harmony was now stan-worthy. Posts were claiming that no matter what she did, Camila would inevitably flop. Messages were shaming her vocals and calling her names that are just unspeakable.
I said this earlier, but I will say it again because apparently, it cannot be said enough: celebrities are not blind. Like you and me, they can see what’s written about them. When Camila Cabello comes online, all she has to do is search her name and she can see everything that’s been said to and about her. There is no hate filter.
What’s even worse is that even her own band painted her in a bad light.
— Fifth Harmony (@FifthHarmony) December 19, 2016
The message Fifth Harmony posted made people think Camila never told the girls her plans. Fans believed that was the case, because why wouldn’t they? It came from the official band account.
This morning, Camila posted her own message, debunking the entire situation.
— camila (@Camila_Cabello) December 19, 2016
When Camila and Shawn released their single, and all this hate poured out, I only had one question in mind. With all that is going on, it has resurfaced, and I am desperate for an answer… Why is hating on and disrespecting Camila Cabello seen as okay?
Since the very beginning, she has been nothing but kind and warm-hearted. She takes time out of her days to communicate and meet with fans, she puts everything she is into what she does, and despite her busy schedule, she still finds the time for charity work. For about a year, she has been working hard with Save the Children.
It is true; she did do solo work while in a band, but you know what? She is not the only one. Her own bandmate has a song out with someone else, so there’s no reason for her to receive hate over that.
It is also true that she left Fifth Harmony. So yes, you have a right to be upset about it. The band has been together for four and a half years, and it is a significant and huge change. However, that gives you no right to be mean. That does not get anyone anywhere.
Also, whether you think so or not, this is a tremendous change for Camila too. Not only is she leaving the band she has been with for over four years, but she is transitioning into a new genre all by herself. That is not easy. All these hateful comments, all this bullying – it is just going to make things harder for her.
I am not saying you have to like her. Seriously, no one is forcing you to be a fan of Camila’s. If you do not like her, then the door is right there. No one is blocking it. You are free to go, and unless you start making remarks, no one is going to yell at you for it. What I am asking is that you look at her and understand that she is human. It is perfectly okay not to like someone, I dislike plenty of artists out there, but it is not okay to tear them down, no matter what the situation is.
You may think your hateful words will not be seen, but I have a serious question for you – what if they are? How do you think a person feels when someone knocks down their art, mocks their abilities, and discredits them as an individual? I am telling you right now; it can have dangerous consequences. Most of which are irreversible.
So stop sending hate to Camila Cabello. Don’t send any to any other member of Fifth Harmony either, and while we are at it, just don’t send it to anyone. Treat people the way you would want to be treated. We have enough malice in the world, so stop spreading it. I promise you, normalizing mean words is not the way to go. If people think dissing celebrities is okay, then it can cause a ripple effect. One night someone might be bashing on Camila, but the next, they could be taking it off screen.
I wish Fifth Harmony and Camila both the best of luck. The other four members of Fifth Harmony are staying together and sticking through it, and Camila is taking the courage to go and do what makes her happy. I hope they both get the respect and kindness they preach about, because they equally deserve it.