“There’s this picture of me running from my car to my brother’s front door on like a 110 degree day in a tank top. And people were like, ‘Damn, Billie got fat!'” the singer told Vanity Fair of the photo that circulated in October. “And I’m like, “Nope, this is how I look, you’ve just never seen it before!’”
can’t wait for the day when billie eilish stops getting judged for wearing tank tops outside of her baggy clothes aesthetic. pic.twitter.com/8CvVcDaqdZ
— saniyah (@eilishswifts) October 12, 2020
The 18-year-old, who sat down with the publication for the fourth year in a row to discuss and reflect on her life and career, has reluctantly stepped into the role of body-positive icon.
“I think yeah, the reason people are looking up to you is because you’re you,” Eilish explained. “They’re not looking up to you so that you’ll tell them something that you never actually tell them. They’re looking up to you so that you tell them something that you would tell them yourself. ...I love having kids relate to me and tell me that I make them feel comfortable in their bodies. Like, if I can do anything I want to do that.”
This is not the first time Eilish has addressed the aforementioned paparazzi picture. In a previous response, she shared to Insagram a stylised snapshot of herself wearing a tank top and captioned the post, “Do you really wanna go back in time?”
This was not the first time Eilish defended herself. In a short film titled “Not My Responsibility,” which was uploaded to YouTube in May, the singer spoke out against body and slut shamers.
“If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman,” she said in the video. “If 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? We 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?”
During the Vanity Fair interview, the singer also discussed the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on her confidence and character.
“For a while now, I’ve been really having an identity crisis. ...In December, I did some radio show performance and the entire show, I felt like I was pretending to be Billie Eilish. Like I completely wasn’t looking at myself as myself. I was just like totally seeing it from not my own perspective and it was so weird. Happened multiple times like at awards shows. I just felt like a parody of myself. I felt a little bit better about it lately. It’s just like, you forget I’m literally 18. It’s funny how I’m expected to find myself and stick with it,” she said.
One thing she was sure about was the fact that she was going to make sure she used her influence to speak out against racism and police brutality.
“I have such a huge platform, why would I want to waste that?” Eilish continued. “Yeah, it’s easier to say nothing, but like that’s not going to help anything…I don’t get the point of silence. There’s a difference between silence and processing and I think that is a big thing that people need to understand is that you gotta think through what you’re gonna say, say it in the right way, but I really think it’s important to speak up and also be respectful.”
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