Billie Eilish is almost as well known for her baggy, oversized fashion aesthetic as she is for her poignant and soulful (not to mention, Grammy Award-winning) music. Back in 2019, she explained to Vogue Australia that her style is extremely intentional and “gives nobody the opportunity to judge what my body looks like.”
That doesn’t mean the 18-year-old artist is immune to those who think they are allowed to express their opinions about her body. In a new interview with Dazed, Eilish opened up about how she felt when people on the internet criticized her decision to post a video of herself in a bathing suit. This past January, Eilish posted a gallery to her Instagram that included a short clip of the singer rinsing her hair in an outdoor shower and you can see the straps of her suit. Yes, that’s literally all it showed but that was enough to bring out the haters and the body shamers.
“It was trending,” Eilish told the publication. “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 can-not win.” The singer also recalled a time last year when she was photographed wearing a tank top. “I saw comments like, ‘How dare she talk about not wanting to be sexualized and wear this?!’” she said.
In the interview, Eilish got even more candid, admitting she has had a complicated relationship with her own body image. “There was a point last year where I was naked and I didn’t recognize my body ’cos I hadn’t seen it in a while,” she said. “I would see it sometimes and be like, ‘Whose body is that?’” However, she added that she’s “a bit more OK with it” right now.
Unfortunately, the young musical genius has needed to address the prevalent issue of internet body-shaming multiple times in her relatively short career. During her Where Do We Go? World Tour, the pop star addressed the idea of people judging her—or anyone’s—body at length.
“You have opinions about my opinions, about my music, about my clothes, about my body,” she reportedly said over a video of herself undressing, per Buzzfeed. “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 move.”
Like so many of us, Eilish is an ever-evolving person both musically and otherwise. “If I wore a dress to something, I would be hated for it,” she said during her Dazed photoshoot. “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.”
Amen to that.