Cabello discusses the sexualization of her former band in an interview with Lena Dunham for her online newsletter, Lenny, which is also featured on an episode of her podcast, Women of the Hour.
“There’s been a lot of times where people have tried to sexualize us to just get more attention. Unfortunately, sex sells,” she explains to Dunham. “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. There’s nothing wrong with showing sexuality. If you have that inside, it’s just an expression of who you are. If you want to share that with people, that’s amazing.”
Cabello notes that there comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to learn how to “grow into yourself,” but that this growing-up process should not be rushed.
“I feel like it’s been tricky because we’ve had to grow into ourselves while being in front of the world and while making songs that did have a lot of sexual undertones,” Cabello tells Dunham.
The former Fifth Harmony member, who announced her departure from the group in December, tells young women that they should stand their ground if they feel like they are being pushed into an uncomfortable situation. “I think the thing that I would say to young women is, if you’re not ready for it, put your foot down,” says Cabello.
Cabello also explains that, as a young Latina woman, she did not realize how prevalent racism still was in the country until this past election. “I live in Miami, and there’s so many cultures there,” says Cabello. “I remember going to school, and 99 percent of the students there, their parents didn’t have English as their first language. I don’t come from a place where that’s even a thing, you know what I mean? There’s Cubans, there’s Puerto Ricans, there’s Haitians. It’s a melting pot. Just like I imagine New York is. If you’re a racist living in Miami, you got to move because you’re going to be seeing your worst nightmare everywhere.”
Read more about what Cabello has to say about being a pop star and the election over on Lenny Letter or listen to the interview below.