Who is Shawn Mendes and are You Sure He’s Not Charlie Puth?
If you know with certainty that Shawn Mendes and Charlie Puth are not each other, or that they exist at all, then you are coming into this miles ahead of a lot of the general population. They both started getting attention around the same time a few years ago, with deeply forgettable but very similar songs. Truly the only people who should be able to distinguish them are people younger than you or people whose aux cord is broken, forcing them to listen to the radio. For everyone else, it will take a level of patience, dedication and attention to detail most commonly found in bird-watchers and sommeliers.
So… they’re singers?
Yes. Singer-songwriters in fact.
Shawn Mendes got his start by posting videos of himself singing covers on Vine, which went viral. If you don’t remember, Vine was the social media app that limited videos to seven seconds. Seven seconds is also about how long most people will listen to a Shawn Mendes song before skipping it. Shawn sings radio friendly songs that are mostly him whining about girls, and I am very attracted to him.
Charlie Puth got his start the old-fashioned way: Youtube and the Ellen Degeneres Show. He also sings radio friendly songs that are mostly him whining about girls, and I am not at all attracted to him.
There are a few key things you can listen for to distinguish the two. Shawn Mendes songs will lean a little more acoustic – if you hear an actual instrument, he’s your guy. Charlie Puth songs are more electronic and his voice is slightly higher pitched. Or you could just wait five years, since Shawn Mendes’ career is going very well and Charlie Puth has started appearing on The Voice, or as the rest of us know it, fading into obscurity.
Aren’t they both Canadian?
It seems like it – but no! Only Shawn Mendes is Canadian. Charlie Puth was born in New Jersey (yikes.) This is probably the easiest way to tell them apart, because if you watch Shawn Mendes closely when he speaks, the bottom half of his head will separate entirely from the top half.
Didn’t one of them date a girl who left him for Justin Bieber?
Correct! Actually… they kinda both did. Charlie Puth dated Selena Gomez back in 2016, and years later put her on blast in an interview for still being in love with Justin Bieber the whole time they were together. Shawn Mendes dated Hailey Baldwin literally right before she married JB. Both men have gone on record saying very kind and very thirsty things about their ex-flames. Both women have remained silent on the topic, possibly because they can’t remember which one they dated.
Charlie apparently had a thing for ex-Disney stars in 2016, since he also kind of dated Bella Thorne that year. If you’ve never heard of her I suggest taking an hour or two and doing a deep dive, since she is one of the most fascinating and messy people I have ever encountered. Anyway, she cheated on him, or maybe with him, and he had a full-on Twitter meltdown about it, despite being a fully grown man. This was probably the most interesting thing he’s ever produced.
Shawn Mendes is currently dating Camilla Cabello, another singer, formerly of Fifth Harmony. They have a song out together you’ll probably hear soon called ‘Senorita.’ I highly recommend watching the music video if you never want to feel attractive again.
Who would win in a fight?
First of all, if you listen to either of their music for even thirty seconds, it will become clear to you that neither of them would fight. But for the sake of this hypothetical, we can look at a few different things. First, Shawn Mendes is 6’2”. This is a fact I know off the top of my head. Charlie Puth is 5’11”. This I had to look up. The fight I’m imagining is an old-fashioned Roman grappling type of situation, so Charlie’s lower center of gravity might give him an advantage. Shawn, however, has really lovely eyes and an incredible smile, so if he could just get Charlie to make eye contact I think he’d be entirely disarmed. At just 20 years old, Shawn has the spryness and flexibility of youth. At a decrepit 27, Charlie has weaker bones but he does have the wisdom of age. I think it’s a toss-up.
They could also potentially fight the way most rich people do: by taking their net worth, putting it into quarters, putting those quarters into a pillowcase, and then hitting each other with it. In this case the clear winner will be Shawn Mendes, who made $38 million dollars last year and is even on one of those Forbes list things. Charlie is worth only $10 million dollars, which would barely even bruise.
So what can I do with this information?
There is truly nothing you can do with your newfound knowledge, except to forget it. In my experience the human brain only has room to remember stuff about 50 celebrities, and there’s no need to take up those precious slots with these two guys. Also, if they ever come up in conversation, you can pretend to be proud that you are out of touch with youth culture, and that it doesn’t remind you every day of the crushing weight of your own mortality.
Caitlin Stokes is a writer based out of Boston Massachusetts.
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