It’s hard to imagine our favourite celebrities have also dealt with bullying and had their struggles, but they have, and they’re just like us! Shawn Mendes is the latest to speak out about how he was bullied in high school – and he’s drawn the support of some of his equally famous friends.
On Sunday, the Canadian star took to Instagram to write about something he experienced as a teenager and how it hurt him. In 2014, he posted a cover on YouTube, and his performance wasn’t received well by some of the people in his school.
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I’m thinking about being in 9th grade right now. The day after I posted one of my first covers onto YouTube back in 2014.. at school walking down the hall straight into a group of older guys yelling out “sing for me Shawn sing for me!” In a way that made me feel absolutely horrible... made me feel like a joke, like what I was doing was just stupid & wrong. I was lucky though, I had the best friends & the best parents anyone could ask for... no matter what they would never let me stop doing what I LOVED to do just because someone ELSE thought it was stupid. It’s not joke to me. To make someone feel bad about doing what they love... every single person deserves to do what makes them feel alive. I’m writing this not only to the 15 year old kid who’s scared to follow their heart because of what people might say but also to the 50 year old who may be doing the exact same thing. I know it’s not just that easy & I’m not asking you to change your world over night, BUT I want you to know that no matter how old you are, no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from... you deserve to follow your heart Im here & i’m rooting for you
“[They were] yelling out, ‘sing for me, Shawn! Sing for me!’ in a way that made me feel absolutely horrible… made me feel like a joke, like what I was doing was just stupid and wrong,” he wrote in the post. “It’s not a joke to me. To make someone feel bad about doing what they love… every single person deserves to do what makes them feel alive.”
Nevertheless, Shawn persevered and continued to pursue his dreams, no matter how much people mocked him or teased him for doing so. He acknowledged he was lucky to have supportive parents and friends whose love for him blocked out all the trolls and bullies and helped him focus on becoming the superstar he is today. Since releasing his 2015 Handwritten debut album, he’s won eight Juno Awards and been nominated for two Grammys and been called one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME.
“I’m writing this not only to the 15-year-old kid who’s scared to follow their heart because of what people might say, but also to the 50-year-old who may be doing the exact same thing,” he continued. “I know it’s not just that easy and I’m not asking you to change your world over night [sic], BUT I want you to know that no matter how old you are, no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from… you deserve to follow your heart.”
Camila Cabello, who collaborated with Shawn on “Señorita,” agreed. “This is beautiful,” she wrote.
We’re so glad Shawn followed his dreams!