Billie Eilish Says The Way You Perceive Her Body Is “Not My Responsibility”

Throughout Billie Eilish’s prolific career, the 18-year-old multi-Grammy-Award-winning singer has had to deal with people around the world shaming her and her body. Earlier this year, the artist gave a powerful speech on-stage protesting the people who sexualise and scrutinise her. The singer revealed last year that her signature baggy style is a reaction to the way people dissect her body and how she presents herself. It’s one that she’s recently admitted is a double-edged sword and that thanks to these trolls, has left her thinking, “no matter what she does, she can’t win.” 

It all sucks major donkey balls and people should really just mind their own business and let her be. 

And, this week, the WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? singer shared the ultimate response to those who “have opinions about [her] body,” in a powerful piece of performance art on her Instagram called NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY

What is Billie Eilish’s Not My Responsibility?

Not My Responsibility is a short film made by Billie Eilish for her Where Do We Go? Tour that was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The clip, which was released on Eilish’s Instagram Wednesday morning, features the singer in a dimly lit room dressed in a black hoodie, gradually removing layers of clothing and sinking into a black pool of water as she recites her famous spoken word piece on the ways people objectify and criticise her body.

In the near four minute-long video, Eilish asks, “do you know me, really know me?”

“You have opinions about my opinions. About my music. About my clothes. About my body. Some people hate what I wear, some people praise it, some people use it to shame others, some people use it to shame me. But I feel you watching, always.”

“And nothing I do goes unseen so while I feel your stares, your disapproval or your sigh of relief…  if I lived by them, I’d never be able to. 

“Would you like me to be smaller? Weaker? Softer? Taller? Would you like me to be quiet?”

“Do my shoulders provoke you? Does my chest? Am I my stomach, my hips, the body I was born with… Is it not what you want? If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. That’s why I shed the layers. I’m a slut. Though you’ve never seen my body, you still judge it and judge me for it. Why?”

“You make assumptions about people based on their size. We decide who they are. We decide what they’re worth. If I wear more, if I wear less, who decides what that makes me, what that means.”

“Is my value based only on your perception or is your opinion of me not my responsibility?”

It’s nothing short of performance art. Take a look for yourself below. 

“And the Oscar goes to… Billie Eilish for her short film Not My Responsibility. This is Eilish’s second win for the night after taking home the Oscar for Best Original Song with “No Time To Die” – The (virtual) Academy Awards, probably. 

We shouldn’t need to say it but it’s not clicking with some of you apparently: don’t body shame. Eilish’s body, the way she presents it and sees herself is for her and only her to decide. No one has any right to your body, how it looks or how you feel about yourself, and their opinion should not matter. As Eilish poignantly reminds us all, someone’s opinion of your body is “not your responsibility” nor is your value based on other’s perception. 

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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