Unfortunately for Camila Mendes, art really does imitate life.
Bullying and slut-shaming isn’t reserved for the on-screen drama of The CW’s smash hit “Riverdale,” a truth that Mendes knows all too well.
The 23-year-old actress who plays former mean girl Veronica Lodge revealed in her recent Teen Vogue interview that she was a victim of slut-shaming and bullying as early as “eighth or ninth grade.”
“These two girls who were a few years above us put out this video on Facebook, and they were just like, ‘Who are freshman sluts? Cami and Kylie.’ They just kind of made this video talking about how much we were sluts … [when the reality is that] both of us were in relationships, and not even hooking up with anybody but our loved ones,” Mendes revealed of her painful past.
Thankfully, Camila’s bullies were shut down by classmates who didn’t agree with such misogynistic policing and toxic hateful slurs. ““At the end of the day, my sexuality, my friend’s sexuality, was none of their business, and not theirs to judge,” the actress continued.
To further her message, Mendes teamed up with clothing company Represent to launch an anti-bullying campaign featuring her “former mean girl” character.
In the caption, Mendes revealed that the “proceeds will benefit the Kind Campaign, a non-profit organization that brings awareness to girl-against-girl bullying.” As the shirt was only available for two weeks, Mendes urged her (nearly) 4 million followers to support the cause and stand up to hate ASAP.
Mendes and the rest of the “Riverdale” gang will return to The CW for a second season on Oct. 11.