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What Exactly Is Going On, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello?

By Anne T. Donahue

This morning, I was greeted with cold, hard video footage of alleged couple Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello making out on Instagram because this is the reality we live in.

“So, we, um, we saw like, on Twitter and stuff, you guys saying stuff about the way we’re kissing and how it looks weird, like we kiss like fish,” Shawn Mendes actually said in real footage that actually exists.

To which Cabello said: “Yeah, really hurt our feelings.”

“We just wanna show you how we really kiss,” Mendes added before the two did their best impressions of Timothee Chalamet and Lily Rose Depp. Then they started laughing, and now here we are, talking about it on a rainy Thursday morning in the year of our lord 2019.

Here’s the thing: are Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello really a couple? I don’t know. Guys, I don’t know them. You don’t know them. These are professional performers who may be playing the world for fools or merely basking in the glory of being young and doing whatever they want to do because they’re too young to be tired and jaded and over anything that takes more effort than saying, “I’ll go if I can wear this sweatshirt.” Can you imagine the effort needed to participate in a fake relationship? I would rather perish. I can’t even fake a conversation with somebody I’m mildly annoyed by.

But also, and because I love to assume everything: what is going on, exactly? Let’s pretend it’s all pretend – that Shawn and Camila are playing the roles of a lifetime and catering to anyone who ships anybody. So: why? What purpose does this serve? Publicity? Just go on Instagram and say literally anything. Companionship? I mean, okay, but we’re heading into cold and flu season, so fake making out just for the sake of it is going to start coming with a whole truck full of risk. To keep us interested in their single? Ugh, no. Because guess what: Lou Bega stayed on the charts for a hell of a long time, and he didn’t have to fake anything with Rita or Monica, let’s be real.

So maybe it’s simple. If Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes are milking a fake relationship for all it’s worth, they’re doing it for one reason and one reason alone: because they can. Because it’s fun and they’re young and both super-cute and one day they’ll wake up and be 34 and be drinking a lukewarm cup of coffee out of sheer convenience because honestly, days are long and work is hard. Maybe, with our assumptions and thoughts and feelings, we are playing ourselves in a way that is hilarious only to them because after the photos are taken they can go back to their lives and know that tomorrow they have a pal to hook up with for the sole purpose of why the fuck not?

Would I want to do something like this? No. I would, to put it plainly, rather lay down in the grass and wait for time and the elements to claim me as their own. Do I think their whole relationship-whatever is cool? Honestly, a lot of couples I see on social media in my actual life are the worst so how do you think I’m receiving this PDA-laden public partnership? (Cut to: me laying down in the grass again.) In fact, most couples I know whose whole thing is to advertise how into each other they are tend to be cursed until the end of time, and if you even think to disagree with me, consider how insufferable Allie and Noah were in The Notebook. (Exactly.)

So look. If you are Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, what’s going on. You can tell me. I’m the aunt you need to say, “This is garbage, here I  made you pizza pockets, drink this lemonade, are you getting enough sleep, okay great now tell me the truth: what in the world?”

As for Timothee and Lily Rose? I do not have another 500 words in which to sift through this. Stop kissing that way. What are you doing it for? Stop it now. Eat these pizza pockets. We need to talk.

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