Why Young Female Fans Consider Shawn Mendes A New-Age Icon And A True ‘Wonder’

shawn mendes wonder

Male pop-singers and female fans have a somewhat complicated relationship. The latter are often derisively accused of pedestalising the former to a level of godly infallibility and failing to see past their charming looks and voice. However, today, as women belonging to an era of sensitivity, knowledge, and confidence, female fans are also conscious of how the male singers present women in their songs, their views regarding important issues, and simply how their revered music gods treat women. One male singer who has always managed to tick all these boxes for me is Shawn Mendes. As the singer gets ready to share his life and times in an upcoming documentary entitled Shawn MendesIn Wonder, releasing on Netflix on November 23, I’ve penned down why I feel Shawn Mendes is one of the greatest new-age icons.

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His Songs Are Ideal Serenades For Women

With women hypersexualised and objectified in most songs, few male singers have cracked the code of non-problematic admiration for and attraction towards women in music. Mendes, I believe, serenades women perfectly. In “Treat You Better”, he croons, “any girl like you deserves a gentleman/Baby, just to wake up with you Would be everything I need/ Just know that you don’t Have to do this alone/ I know I can treat you better”. Mendes’ passionate vocals, coupled with these lyrics, can make every woman believe that she deserves the best and shouldn’t ‘settle’ come what may. Other tracks like “ Because I Had You”, “ There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”, and “Stitches” relate passionate love without falling down the slippery slope of objectifying women.

Notably, Mendes’ songs don’t shy away from exploring complex emotions and issues. His 2018 offering, “When You’re Ready” values consent: “Baby, tell me when you’re ready/ I’m waitin’/Baby, any time you’re ready/ I’m waitin’.” Mendes bridges the gap between women being ‘talked about’ and ‘talked to’ in “Bad Reputation”, as he questions the impact of malicious gossip on a woman’s ‘reputation’ through lyrics like, “She got a bad reputation/She takes the long way home… And I don’t care what they say about you baby/They don’t know what you’ve been through.” Even one of his earliest melodies, “A Little Too Much”, shows how even though women are strong, they shouldn’t be wary of accepting some help in times of need: “She would always tell herself she could do this/ She would use no help it would be just fine/But when it got hard she would lose her focus/ So take my hand and we’ll be alright.”

A Foil To The Alpha-Male Stereotype

Besides Mendes’ musical genius, his sensitivity, receptivity, and will to do better also make him the perfect foil to today’s entitled alpha males. In 2018, he spoke about gender identity and the need to use correct pronouns for a person: “There would no longer be an argument (over trans rights). People would just understand.” Mendes wins major points for the way he is comfortable with his own masculinity. He has been spotted sporting man heels, make-up, and gender-neutral jewellery like pearl necklaces with aplomb on various occasions. Having faced various invasive questions regarding his sexuality at the start of his career, he always made it a point to tell his fans that even though he’s not gay, it shouldn’t be a big deal if he was. In a 2018 interview, he owned his femininity with heartwarming candour: “Maybe I am a little more feminine – but that’s the way it is. That’s why I am me.”


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Day 24: “The One With Makeup” – (I slightly changed the challenge, I think it makes more sense like that🤔) #30daysidolchallenge #daytwentyfour #challengeaccepted

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The Perfect Boyfriend

After years of denying link-ups, Mendes finally confessed to dating Latin singing sensation Camila Cabello last year. The friends-turned-lovers announced their relationship by releasing one of the best collaborations of recent times, “Senorita”. When it comes to his lady love, Mendes has always worn his heart on his sleeve. Answering a fan’s question about Cabello in a pre-concert question and answer session, Mendes said, “If I told you the whole story of Camila, it would take a long time. I would say that you have to fight for someone you really love. And if you really, truly love them, then you’ll get them. It just takes time.”

Cabello’s constant cheerleader, Mendes has been spotted supporting her at concerts, award functions, and on social media. However, he is also conscious about maintaining the duo’s – especially Cabello’s – privacy: “Honestly, I wanna say I wanna talk to you guys about this stuff, but it’s not just me in the relationship. There’s another person involved, and I can’t say things that I feel. It’s not just me deciding, you know?”

In the recently released trailer for his upcoming Netflix documentary, Mendes candidly confessed that every song he has ever written has been about Cabello.

Shawn Mendes’ music brims with both unbridled youthful energy and a quaint old-world charm. Additionally, he is the perfect example of how a new-age singing sensation should be – aware, sensitive, non-problematic.  Truly a wonder, a Netflix original documenting the singer’s life promises to be a treat for me and millions of fans around the globe.

Watch the trailer here:

Picture Credits: Shawn Mendes/Instagram

Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV