Billie Eilish has called out body-shamers and critics of the way she dresses in a powerful video condemning the double standards she faces as a young woman in the public eye.
The singer’s signature style typically consists of baggy outfits, but earlier this year after sharing a rare snap of herself in a bikini she found herself on the receiving end of slut-shamers.
Now, in a short film titled ‘NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY’ she addresses her fashion choices and responds to those who offer opinions on her body and life.
“Do you know me? Really know me?” Eilish begins the video, as she very slowly undresses. “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.”
Eilish continues: “Nothing I do goes unseen, so while I feel your stares, your disapproval or your sighs of relief.
“If I lived by them, I’d never be able to move.”
In the short film, Eilish goes on to ask: “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 wanted?”
She then addresses the double standards she seems to face no matter how she chooses to dress. “If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I’m a slut,” she says.
“Though you’ve never seen my body, you still touch it and judge me for it. Why?”
She goes on to reveal that the public 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?”
This isn’t the first time that Eilish has responded to body shamers. As part of Calvin Klein’s latest ‘I speak my truth’ campaign the ‘Bad Guy’ singer revealed she chooses to dress in oversized clothes partly so people can’t form an opinion on her body.
“I never want the world to know everything about me,” she said in the ad. “I mean, that’s why I wear big, baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath, you know?”
She added: “Nobody can be like, ‘Oh, she’s slim-thick, she’s not slim-thick, she’s got a flat ass, she’s got a fat ass. No one can say any of that, because they don’t know.”
Earlier this year she also gave an insight into the way she feels about her own body image.
“I just hated my body. I would have done anything to be in a different one,” she told Vogue in her March cover interview.
“'I really wanted to be a model, really bad, and I was chubby and short,” she continued. “I developed really early. I had boobs at nine. I got my period at 11. So my body was going faster than my brain.”
The musician also revealed to Dazed that at times her personal body image battle has meant she finds it hard to look at herself in the mirror.
“There was a point last year where I was naked and I didn’t recognise my body cause I hadn't seen it in a while. I would see it sometimes and be like, ‘Whose body is that?’”
But she also revealed she seems to have got past that: “It's not that I like (my body) now, I just think I’m a bit more OK with it.”
Words by Marie Claire Dorking
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