Canadian-Portuguese teen sensation Shawn Mendes is just 18, but is also quite a huge name. Having recently sold out Madison Square Garden and embarking on his third tour, the Illuminate World Tour, it’s no surprise that he’s taken Hollywood by storm. Not only is the teen superstar a singer, but he also signed with Wilhelmina Models in June of 2016, and was featured in Italian Vogue. It’s no surprise that when you ask someone if they listen to Shawn Mendes, you’ll hear how much they love him.
But not only are his fans girls around his age, they’re women who are completely older than him. While that’s usually not a problem, seeing as almost every woman in Hollywood loves him, it really raised eyebrows and angered fans when two women in particular, Jessi Cruickshank and Katy Perry, both sexually harassed Mendes on their own.
It was last year when Mendes, then 17, went to the Canadian Juno awards with his entourage and dad. While at the ceremony, host Cruickshank, then 33, made gross and disgusting comments about Mendes and how he “fucking annihilated” puberty. For 2 minutes and fifteen seconds, expressed her “sexual tension” for Mendes and even displayed shirtless photographs of Mendes on the screen for all of the audience to see. Being the kind person that he is, Shawn simply had a shy smile plastered onto his face as he shook his head with his hands behind his head. It was clearly evident that Mendes was uncomfortable. Had this been a man in this thirties talking this way to a 17 year old girl, the media would have flipped! This was last year, and nothing was done or said about this harassment that was directed at Shawn Mendes.
Last week was the iHeart Radio awards and Mendes was a performer and nominated for three awards. While he debuted at the red carpet and had an interview, singer Katy Perry, fourteen years Mendes’s senior watched Mendes from afar. She licked her lips, stared at him, then turned away quickly when Shawn felt someone staring at him. He went back to the interview and three seconds later, Mendes stopped the interview to say that someone was just touching his butt. In the video, he mentions how he was stunned and if you pay attention to his behavior, he clearly looks lost. The women interviewing him suggested he touch Perry’s butt in return, to which he replied, “That’s not a game.”
The incident revealed a double standard that is there for men. When a woman harasses a man, it’s okay. It’s seen as quirky and humorous, not disgusting and rude. If a man touches a woman butt, it’s harassment. So why is it not considered harassment when it happens to men? Grown women in Hollywood need to leave Shawn Mendes alone. Grown women in GENERAL need to leave underage men alone. It’s not funny, it’s not cute, it’s not okay. It’s harassment. And it doesn’t make you any different from the men who do the same to underage women, either.