Here's Why Fifth Harmony Hates Fame

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Fifth Harmony came together during the second season of the X Factor and seemed destined for instant stardom. They were thought to be the female One Direction, or maybe even a new Spice Girls. Their first album, Reflection, did solid if unspectacular business. Now, with their second album, 7/27, they seem ready to break through to the big time.

But the group hasn’t found stardom all that it’s cracked up to be. In fact, they pretty much hate it, according to a profile published in Billboard.

Camila Cabello says that the group’s newfound fame caused serious stress.

"I was having terrible anxiety, nonstop. My heart would beat really fast the whole day. Two hours after I woke up, I'd need a nap because my body was so hyperactive. It was so eff — sorry, but it was so f--ked up," she tells Billboard. "I was scared of what would happen to me, of the things my brain might tell me. I realized the stuff I thought was important isn't worth my health. Now I write in a diary every day, work out and meditate."

Lauren Jauregui feels like she was sold a bill of goods.

"They sell you this present of rainbows and butterflies, and as a 16-year-old that's what I bought. It's why I did X Factor and why I ended up in a group. But then you're working so hard, so young," she tells Billboard. "[Meanwhile] my friends are in college, telling me about their days and what they're studying. You're having to put on a smile on a red carpet. It's like, 'Who am I? Am I for myself or for this?'"

Even Ally Brooke Hernandez, the group’s “rock,” describes "awful mental health situations" and "pain on a lot of levels."

The group went through a tragic spate of family members or close friends dying. The stress got to them.

"I love touring, but the schedule traumatized me," Jane Hansen tells Billboard. "I was like, 'What kind of job are we doing?' I watched my great-grandmother be buried on FaceTime. We're all so family-oriented, and we've all lost people on the road."

But Simon Cowell, who helped preside over the group’s creation, sees hope in the future.

“It was incredible how quickly they jelled, had each other's backs and understood their roles," Cowell tells Billboard. "It was the same with One Direction. I've seen idiot managers try to control everything. With a group like that, you respect their talent and let them lead you."

Fifth Harmony basically sounds like they’re going through the section of the rock band success narrative in which fame is getting to them. In a weird way, you almost hope that they can retire early.

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