Photography by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images
The internet is grieving.
Date November 18, 2021
It’s over. Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello broke the hearts of Gen Z fans everywhere on Wednesday when the internet-famous couple revealed their break up to fans via Instagram stories.
“Hey guys, we’ve decided to end our romantic relationship but our love for one another as humans is stronger than ever,” the joint breakup note reads. “We started our relationship as best friends and will continue to be best friends. We so appreciate your support from the beginning and moving forward.” A moment of silence, please.
The news has rocked fans of the couple, many taking to social media to discuss the split. If you’re confused as to why, well, it all comes down to meme culture, to which Mendes and Cabello have contributed greatly.
Let’s take a step back. The relationship began in July 2019 after the release of Mendes and Cabello’s sultry viral hit “Señorita.” Ever since, the pair have never been far from the public eye.
To start, the couple’s unique street style often generated…mixed reactions on social media. At times colour-coordinating and other times sporting completely different vibes, it’s safe to say they didn’t take themselves too seriously — an admirable trait for a celebrity couple. But for the internet? Meme fodder.
Even more, since the start of the pandemic, Mendes and Cabello were regularly spotted taking long, notably slow-spaced walks together. One walk in particular — which Mendes later classified as a meditative stroll — gave rise to the Zombie Walk meme. It’s a classic, but the meme was soon usurped by the duo’s viral moment at the 2021 Met Gala.
Though Mendes and Cabello looked stunningly in-sync in skin-baring ensembles, their outfits were not what attracted widespread attention on social media. Rather, it was an innocent clip of Mendes complimenting his girlfriend on her dress.
During the four-second video, the Canadian singer lovingly compares Cabello’s sparkly gown to one of the most impactful style icons of all time, saying: “It’s giving… it’s giving Cher.”
Hyping up your girlfriend and giving Twitter viral meme material? It’s an A+ in our books. The phrase, much like many of the pair’s moments, has been forever immortalized in the pop culture history books. And on behalf of the internet, we thank them for their service.
On the bright side, the break up of Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello comes on the heels of Taylor Swift’s longest breakup album in recent history, so at least the newly split friends (and their devoted fans) will have an extensive soundtrack to cry to.