Camila Cabello brought down the house with her Grammy performance of her hit “First Man,” but it was the snap shot of her making out with her boyfriend, Shawn Mendes that sparked the most headlines. The music collaborators have been dating since last summer and recently, there have been a few articles questioning the legitimacy of their relationship. Is it all just for publicity?
First, the background: Cabello and Mendes first worked together in 2015 on the hit “I Know What You Did Last Summer” shortly after Cabello left Fifth Harmony. The song was her first individual effort, and since then, her solo career has taken off. In 2019, Mendes and Cabello teamed up for “Senorita” on Cabello’s second solo album, Romance. The song is a worldwide smash hit, and shortly after it was release in June, Mendes and Cabello announced they were dating.
It’s the timing of the announcement that has some media outlets questioning whether or not the relationship is “real.” As the Guardian pointed out in its article about the couple, pop music has a long history of “fauxmances,” from Noah Cyrus and Lil Xan to Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. The article doesn’t make a statement one way or the other about Mendes and Cabello, but in November, after the couple’s now-notorious performance of “Senorita” at the American Music Awards, people began to question if the relationship was the real deal.
Frankly, there is no reason to question how they feel about each other. Sure, the PDA gets out of control sometimes and their performance at the AMAs was way over the top, but every statement one of them makes about the other definitely seem genuine. In an interview with Rolling Stone late last year, Camila Cabello was asked about her relationship with Mendes.
“During ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer,’ I really bonded with him as more than a friend,” the singer explained. “I think he did, too, but we were both really young, and he was experiencing the pressures of his career. I don’t think we knew what to do with those feelings.” It wasn’t until years later, both older and more mature, that the friendship blossom into something more, according to Cabello. “Our paths just didn’t cross in that way romantically until we started hanging out again and writing,” she said. “For me, it just brought it back.”
Which brings us back to the question at hand. The photo of Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes making out at the Grammys is an interesting case. They did not watch the show together, nor did they walk the red carpet together. They weren’t photographed together at all until the now infamous one of them on a bus. Wouldn’t a couple only together for publicity take advantage of one of the biggest nights of the year for musicians? Wouldn’t they have walked the red carpet, getting their picture snapped by photographers from dozens of outlets, rather than waiting until what they thought was a private moment to kiss?
If it’s really all just a publicity stunt in the social media era, wouldn’t they would be all over each other on Instagram? (I’m looking at you, Miley and Cody.) In fact, both stars hardly post photos of each other on social media, other than a few promoting their careers. There are no photos of them at dinner together or hanging out by a romantic fire or walking on a beach. If it were all a stunt, that’s what you would expect, isn’t it?