Camila Cabello Solo After Fifth Harmony, Says She Felt Sexualized In Girl Group

Camila Cabello’s solo career came faster than her fans ever imagined it would have. Next week will mark the one-month anniversary since Camila officially exited Fifth Harmony, the girl group that thrust her into international stardom.

Aside from a statement refuting Fifth Harmony’s claims that she had been uncooperative when it came to planning for the group’s future, in favor of her own solo career, Camila has pretty much remained silent — until now.

On Dec. 15, Camila sat down with actress Lena Dunham for an interview for Lenny Letter. The interview, which was just published on Jan. 11, features Camila speaking about her humble beginnings, how growing up in Cuba helped her put things in perspective when she felt like complaining and how her mom kept her grounded.

Since this interview took place prior to the 19-year-old’s exit from Fifth Harmony, the subject of Camila Cabello’s solo career was not brought up. What was, however, was the fact that being in the entertainment industry sexualized Camila’s image before she was ready. During the interview, Dunham asked Camila if she’d ever been asked to do something that she wasn’t comfortable with.

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“Oh my God. Yeah, definitely,” Camila said. “Especially with being a girl group, there’s been a lot of times where people have tried to sexualize us to just get more attention. Unfortunately, sex sells. There’s definitely been times where there’s stuff that I have not been comfortable with and I’ve had to put my foot down.”

Camila went on to say that, while she hasn’t always been comfortable with expressing her own sexuality, she admires it in other women, and used Rihanna as an example.

“If you want to share that with people, that’s amazing. I love that. Look at Rihanna. She’s so sexy. She comes from Planet Sexy. I worship her. I really, really do.”

It’s not shocking that Camila feels this way. Although Fifth Harmony started off as your everyday tween sensation in 2012, as each member neared adulthood, the group became more sexually focused. Though this change has brought about criticism from parents concerned that the group’s sexy image was being marketed to young teens, it has definitely paid off career wise because, as Camila noted, “sex sells.”

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“Worth It,” their 2015 single became the first ever music video by a girl group to surpass 1 billion views on YouTube. It consisted of the girls wearing sexy clothes and posing suggestively against different backdrops.

In 2016, their single “Work From Home,” a sexually charged song about wanting their partners to work from home — rather than in an office — so that they could spend the day having sex, became their biggest single to date. The accompanying visual featured the five young-adult women parading around a construction site in revealing ensembles that left little to the imagination.

Similarly, the video for their most recent single, “Flex (All In My Head),” had the girls grinding, gyrating, and doing other suggestive dance moves in bikinis on the beach.

Unlike Rihanna, who has had over a decade to grow comfortable with her sexuality, Camila is only 19-years-old. She was even younger — the age of your average high school freshman — when Fifth Harmony was put together in 2012. Like most young stars, she has lived through her most awkward stages in the public eye.

It makes sense that she would have had some qualms about putting forth such a seductive image to the world, before she even came of age to engage in the acts she had been singing about.

The good news is that Camila has learned to embrace that part of herself. When Lena Dunham mentioned that Fifth Harmony’s song “Dope,” from their album 727, is a song about sexual infatuation and that the industry prefers when young women sing about sensual topics, Camila replied, “Totally.”

“I’ve realized that growing into myself now, I think two years ago I would’ve been afraid to sing about that. That’s completely natural because I wasn’t ready yet.”

“I think the thing that I would say to young women is, if you’re not ready for it, put your foot down,” the 19-year-old closed the interview by saying.

It’s good to know that as Camila Cabello’s solo career kicks off, she’s developed the confidence to object to anything that she’s uncomfortable with.

More eyes are on the young star than ever before, which is a pro and a con itself. A large part of her former group’s fans are cheering for her, while a smaller subset is hoping that she fails miserably, due to what they feel perceive to be the ultimate betrayal — leaving the group at the height of Fifth Harmony’s career.

In spite of that, Camila plans to push ahead this year with the release of her first solo project.

As for subject matter, Camila’s Cabello’s solo career can be however tame or sexually charged as she wants it to be. She now knows that she has a choice in the matter.

[Featured Image By Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images]