Shay Mitchell refuses sexuality labels: ‘You love who you love’

Cosmopolitan - June '16 - Newsstand_edited-1

Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell is the cover model for the June issue of Cosmopolitan, which hits newsstands on Tuesday. The 29-year-old Canadian actress is a social media superstar, with almost 12 million followers on her Instagram account, over 3 million followers on Twitter and tons of fans of her Snapchat pics (@officialshaym). Girl is pulling some impressive numbers.

The actress, who is currently on the big screen along with Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Julia Roberts in the “comedy” Mother’s Day (currently pulling an 8% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which does fill me with a touch of glee, as I hate all things “chick flick”) opened up to Cosmo about her social media savvy, career, and, of course, love. Here are some highlights:

On her mastery of social media: My Instagram is like an art gallery—no blurry photos. Come to Snapchat and see it all being made. Instagram is the appetizer. Snapchat is the meal.

On the gender of a potential partner: “When I started, people were like, ‘What are you?’ I’m like, right now I’m dating a guy. I don’t know what it’s going to be in three years. You love who you love. Black, white, polka-dot, that’s what my dad always said. I’m never going to label myself. I could be 50 and dating a woman and then what? I said I was straight and now I’m not?’”

On her pre-fame days of working bottle service: I have so much respect for waiters, waitresses, girls who work in clubs. It’s tough. I’d have old guys saying ‘You’re so pretty, why are you working?’ or ‘Come live with me, honey.’ Like, what, so I can be taken care of? That’s the last thing that I want. What I wanted to say was, ‘[I work] so I will never end up with someone like you.’

On her post-PLL life: “I’d rather have a company. I don’t want to be dependent on a call from my agent — taking projects I’m not okay with because I need to. To be honest, winning an Oscar is not one of my goals.

[From Cosmopolitan]

Shay’s assertion that “you love who you love” does resonate with me, but since when is gender fluidity – or owning up to it – such a trendy thing? It’s a nice change from how taboo bisexuality used to be. And that, “I could be 50 and dating a woman” made me think of Sarah Paulson for some reason.

I am glad that she doesn’t take herself too seriously as an actress, as I don’t think PLL is any kind of springboard to an Oscar either. Side note: I am crazy jealous that I can’t rock a cute bathing suit like that red number Shay’s modeling on the cover. And it’s almost summer….sigh.


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Photo credit: Cosmopolitan,, Fame Flynet

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29 Responses to “Shay Mitchell refuses sexuality labels: ‘You love who you love’”

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  1. fluffyrabbit says:

    She was always my fav on PLL and I hope she goes on to great things.

  2. bmore says:


    • Starkiller says:

      LOL, you beat me to it.

      I She seems to have a pretty high opinion of herself, and I’m not sure why.

      • Kimbers says:

        Used to love PLL! She totally sucked at acting in the first 2 seasons, but she’s gotten noticeably better IMO this last year. She does have a pretty high opinion of her looks, she is beautiful, but seems to get her acting abilities are very limited. It is smart for her to want a company and use her brain since beauty and youth dwindles.

    • Sarah says:

      Bahahha same… I thought “maybe she’s one of those awful sandsnakes”

    • Twodollars says:

      The PLL actresses are insanely popular with pre-teen, teen and young women. Seriously, insanely popular.

      She plays a lesbian character who actually has had multiple girlfriends just like her straight character. She’s gotten lots of kudos from LGBT organizations for her portrayal.

  3. Isa says:

    What a stupid expression they chose for the cover.

    I’m glad she doesn’t take herself too seriously bc her only expression on PLL is worried. But, she is seriously beautiful and has an amazing figure.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      Yes! She is beautiful, but her constantly constipated/worried face annoys me to no end. Sucks all the beauty out.

    • elle says:

      Came here to say the same thing… what a terrible cover! She is gorgeous. There had to be a better photo than this one.

  4. Samtha says:

    She is SO gorgeous. Absolutely stunning.

  5. Lex says:

    She’s beautiful but whyyyyyy did they choose that photo for the cover? She looks like she was in the middle of a conversation.

  6. Melibea says:

    She is stunning and very exotic looking, but she’s awful on PLL.

  7. Gabriella says:

    I am VERY glad to hear this.

  8. Mcbeanerer says:

    “Since when is gender fluidity such a trendy thing?”

    This isn’t gender fluidity. It’s sexuality, and I kind of feel like it’s about time people realize and are open about the fact that it’s a spectrum. I think calling that trendy makes it sound a bit inauthentic . Just my two cents.

    As for Shay? One of my favorites. Between her snapchat and her YouTube channel you just get this impression that she’s insanely positive, hardworking, and so funny. I’d love to see more from her.

    • Lee1 says:

      YES to absolutely everything you said here!

      • Kyle says:

        Please, it is trendy – for girls. Guys used to get their teeth kicked in, so yeah that’s not going in style any time soon.

        Some people have fluid sexualities and other people don’t. What’s complicated about that? I feel like “fluid” people are constantly trying to pressure people who already know what they like and don’t have anything left to question concerning their sexuality into being more fluid because it’s so all embracing yet of course she’s dating a dude when she says this. Typical. And there is no such thing as “labels” unless “fluid” is a label too. There’s only the truth and the lie. Some people are just straight, some are just gay and so on and they don’t need to be more fluid to buck these so called labels this random girl thinks exist. If she’s fluid great – but don’t call other people’s sexuality a label because you can’t figure yourself out so you drag everyone else down. … Rant over.

  9. Adrien says:

    She has a huge Asian fan following so I’m not surprised with her social media numbers. She’s my favorite PLL cast member. She reminds me of Jennifer Love.

  10. Keaton says:

    Her comment about her sexual fluidity was a bit of a “Meh” to me. Perhaps it’s a sincere comment but it also seems like the hip thing for “the kids” to say nowadays.
    I was struck more by her comment about her pre-fame days and the fact she doesn’t care about winning an Oscar. I like people who are unpretentious and hard-working and she seems to fit that bill.

  11. INeedANap says:

    I love her comments on working for the money!

    I don’t understand men sometimes. “You’re pretty, why are you working?” What does that even MEAN? Women are not decorative vases, booboo. Good for her for getting that dough. Being financially independent is a great source of power.

    • vauvert says:

      Because for every woman like Shay there are ten Miranda Kerr out there whose only interest seems to be focused on finding a guy making more money than she is so she can be “taken care of”. Funny thing is, someone like Miranda already makes a fantastic living by herself. She doesn’t need a “provider” like some of the gold diggers we all know, who don’t really have a job other than professional girlfriend.

  12. QQ says:

    You know what?? I can respect this one! she knows she isn’t a Meryl or about to get there but hustles and grinds! Go on Then, Lil Girl, cook!

    • elns says:

      This is pretty much how I feel as well. It felt honest and grounded and she’s not afraid to work.

  13. perplexed says:

    She’s so pretty, but can’t really act that well. She lucked out with Pretty Little Liars.

    She does seem to hustle well, so that likely accounts for her success too.

  14. Maleficent says:

    As a bisexual woman, I’ve never gotten the “you love who you love” thing…the first date or spark to me is always because i want to see more. Me wanting to see you naked is not because of your personality.

    That sounds shallow. I don’t think I’m wording it correctly.

  15. byland says:

    I don’t know anything about her as I don’t watch Pretty Little Liars. I clicked on the link wondering who she was, actually.

    That said, something about her face reminds me of Lea Michele, if Lea Michele caved and got a nose job.

    She’s a very pretty girl, but then I think Lea is quite pretty before she sucks the air out of the room with her thirst. At least Shay here doesn’t seem to take herself quite as seriously.

  16. Tourmaline says:

    She’s gorgeous and likable.
    I watch Pretty Little Liars (hangs head in shame) and wow that show has gone on way too long and the show runners clearly are just pulling stuff out of their asses plotwise. But to Shays credit although she started out as a truly terrible actor first season, she has improved quite a bit.

  17. Lucy says:

    I used to love PLL, and while I can now admit it wasn’t great in the least, I’m still very fond of all of the five girls, and Shay in particular seems lovely and very grateful and appreciative of her fans. As for the talk about sexuality, I assume she was asked about it because one of the biggest arcs in her character’s storyline was her being gay.

  18. Dre dog says:

    She’s filipino and gorgeous. She’s the worst actress though.

  19. so i think the new craze of vagueness in sexuality and openess is obv a sign of the times but also…. hollywood can get really wild and strange (open marriages, beards, swingers, etc) and not that that is spurned by bisexuality but…. setting the tone now eliminates people possibly having to answer to the national enquirer and etc….and all these extortion and scandal stories….

    for instance she has already set it that hey…. it could go anywhere

    so if some little loser tries to black mail her or such or she has a wild night she wont have this prime and conservative hetero image clashing back at her and such.

    I think this is a brilliant tactic to say in interviews that way you can really live your life and not have to lose everything to a scandal or such…. and set your self up for failure with a stark unrealistic hetero image