Billie Eilish On Her Battle With Body-Shaming: “I Can’t Win”

Billie Eilish is undeniably one of the biggest and most innovative female artists in the music industry right now. She’s pushing boundaries in the way we create music, using unorthodox sounds and instruments like NSW traffic lights to dentist drills, won five Grammys before she was even a legal adult, and created a signature visual aesthetic that fights the very objectification women in the media have tried to change for years. 

But, in a new conversation with Dazed, the 18-year-old Grammy-winning singer has opened up further about being body shamed, confessing that no matter what she does, “she can’t win.”

Why is she getting so much undeserved hate?

Last year, Eilish went on a vacation and shared a photo of her in a bikini. Minutes later, “it was trending,” and she was met with a sea of comments of people criticising her for what she was wearing.

“There were comments like, ‘I don’t like her anymore because as soon as she turns 18, she’s a whore.’ Like, dude, I can’t win. I cannot win.”

As one Twitter user said in her defence, “did people really expect her to swim in her baggy stage clothes?” Apparently and stupidly so.

Why does she wear baggy clothes?

As she explained in a 2019 Calvin Klein ad, Eilish usually avoids wearing form-fitting clothing so “nobody can have an opinion [of her body] because they haven’t seen what’s underneath.” 

As she put it, nobody can say she’s “slim-thick, not slim-thick, got a flat ass or doesn’t have a flat ass.”

“No one can say any of that because they don’t know.”

But, as she sees it, while her signature look is part of why the world loves her, it’s also what some use to shame her and put her in a box.

“If I wore a dress to something, I would be hated for it,” she told Dazed. “People would be like, ‘You’ve changed, how dare you do what you’ve always rebelled against?’”

“I’m like, ‘I’m not rebelling against anything, really,’ I can’t stress it enough. I’m just wearing what I wanna wear. If there’s a day when I’m like, ‘You know what, I feel comfortable with my belly right now, and I wanna show my belly,’ I should be allowed to do that.”

Leave her alone you trolls

And honestly, let her speak. 

 Seeing her having to tackle this and being put under this kinda pressure is heartbreaking, especially since Eilish is such a star and an icon for our generation.

Let her wear whatever she wants and maybe don’t criticise her for it? It really isn’t that hard to just let her be herself, chief. 

Earlier this year, during the beginning of her world tour in Miami, Florida, Eilish opened the show with a spoken word performance aimed at the people who scrutinise and shame her body and what she wears. If that doesn’t say just how badly she’s dealt with this, then I don’t know what will. 

Julian Rizzo-Smith is a writer and producer. He also claims to be a vine historian, avid connoisseur of low-fi beats, indie hip hop and Kermit memes. In a perfect world, he’d be married to Tyler the Creator, own an Arcanine and a Lapras, and don his own Sailor Scouts uniform. He tweets @GayWeebDisaster, which is also, coincidentally, how one might describe him.

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