Camila Cabello Got Real About How the Paparazzi Make Her Feel 'Vulnerable' at the Beach

The singer's recent Instagram post is resonating with millions of followers — and for good reason.

Camila Cabello poses backstage during a Concert for Ukraine at Resorts World Arena on March 29, 2022 in Birmingham, England
Photo: Getty Images

Camila Cabello opened up about how it feels to be photographed by paparazzi at the beach in a candid Instagram post. The text post currently has more than 1.1 million likes and 10,000 comments, clearly striking a chord with others who have felt self-conscious about their bodies — famous or not.

In the April 2 post, the 25-year-old singer explains that she knew there would be photographers at the beach club she was visiting in Miami, recalling past instances that affected her self-esteem after seeing photos and comments posted online about her appearance. "Somehow when I check in paps know and get me in my bikini and every time I've felt super vulnerable and unprepared," she writes on the 'gram.

Cabello details the lengths she went to before hitting the beach, demonstrating the impact of the paparazzi's presence. She got a new bikini, put on lip gloss, and "didn't eat anything too heavy" before getting in the water because she knew "it was gonna be basically a whole photoshoot."

Even while at the beach, she was seemingly uncomfortable. "I held my core so tight my abs hurt and didn't breathe and barely smiled and was so self-conscious of where the paps were the whole time," she shares. "I couldn't let go and relax and do what we're meant to do when we go out into nature." (

Cabello adds that even though she knows she looks "good" in the pictures, she's "never had a worse time at the beach." To cope, she tries to remind herself that her negative thoughts are "the culture's thoughts and not my own," adding, "a culture who has gotten so used to an image of what a 'healthy' woman's body looks like that is completely not real for a lot of women."

Despite her fame, Cabello is, in her words, "a single woman in her 20s...and I want to look good," and like many others, she works hard to combat intrusive thoughts and accept her body as it is. How exactly? By listening to podcasts on intuitive eating (a practice rooted in mindfulness instead of counting calories, restricting, or limiting foods) and curating her social media feeds to "follow women who accept their cellulite, stretch marks, bellies, bloating, and weight fluctuations" — an expert-approved tip that can help remind you that so much of what exists online isn't necessarily real and expose you to more of what is.

The "Familia" singer goes on in the recent post to admit that for her, true body acceptance is a work in progress. "Intellectually, I know what I look like doesn't determine how healthy, happy or sexy I am. Emotionally, the messaging I get from our world is loud in my own head," she writes. "Ironically, all the therapy, all the inner work, is to try and get back to feeling like 7-year-old me on the beach." (

For years Cabello has been open about the unrealistic body standards placed on women. In the past, she shared how social media has impacted her mental health. She embraced her "stretch marks and fat" in a viral TikTok video and said doing so was a "liberating" breath of fresh air against the "photoshopped, edited pictures" that prevail online.

"I wanted to talk about this because we see pictures of women and praise them for looking good, for looking fit or 'healthy,' but what is health if you are so fixated on what your body looks like that your mental health suffers and you can't enjoy your life?" points out Cabello in her most recent statement on body image. "Who am I trying to look attractive for and am I even attractive to myself if I can't let loose and relax and have fun and be playful on a beautiful day at the beach?"

There's arguably no doubt that her 61 million followers on Instagram alone are thankful that she always keeps it real, no matter how vulnerable she might feel IRL. In fact, her post was flooded with supportive comments and was even reposted by other public figures, including Peloton instructor Camila Ramón and trainer Kelsey Wells. More of this, please!

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