billie eilish body empowerment
[Photo via YouTube]

Back in March, Billie Eilish kicked off her WHERE DO WE GO? tour in Miami before coronavirus caused the remaining dates to be postponed. Included in her powerful live set was a short film where Eilish tackles anti-body shaming. Due to the tour postponement, the singer released the full film back in May for everyone to see.

Now, in a new interview, Eilish is revealing why she decided to create the short film and how being in the spotlight has impacted her body image.

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Played right before “all the good girls go to hell” on her tour, the video is a protest against body-shaming. Over the past few years, Eilish has received criticism and media attention for wearing baggy clothes that are viewed as “unfeminine” by many onlookers. In the video, she sheds her baggy clothes while delivering a moving message about body positivity.

After the remaining dates of the WHERE DO WE GO? tour were postponed due to the ongoing pandemic, Eilish decided to release the entire short film. Within the video, you can hear Eilish ask what people wished she looked like. She also addresses the double standard of body image in the media.

“Would you like me to be smaller? Weaker? Softer? Taller? Would you like me to be quiet?The body I was born with – is it not what you wanted? If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. 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,” she says.

Now, Eilish is opening up further about the meaning behind the short film and the obstacles she has overcome since being in the spotlight. In a new interview with GQ, the 18-year-old singer says she sometimes feels “trapped” by the way she is portrayed in the media.

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“Sometimes I dress like a boy,” she says. “Sometimes I dress like a swaggy girl. And sometimes I feel trapped by this persona that I have created because sometimes I think people view me not as a woman.”

For her, the video is all about exposing her inner thoughts and releasing the built-up stress she carries surrounding her public image.

“That tour video was about all that,” Eilish reveals. “It is me saying: ‘look, there is a body underneath these clothes and you don’t get to see it. Isn’t that a shame?’ But my body is mine and yours is yours. Our own bodies are kind of the only real things which are truly ours. I get to see it and get to show it when I want to.”

In the interview, she also reveals that her previous relationships have impacted the way she views herself. She is learning to be comfortable in her own skin and wishes that onlookers would keep their comments about her body and clothes to themselves.

“Here’s a bomb for you: I have never felt desired,” she says. “My past boyfriends never made me feel desired. None of them. And it’s a big thing in my life that I feel I have never been physically desired by somebody. So I dress the way I dress as I don’t like to think of you guys – I mean anyone, everyone – judging it or the size of it. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t wake up one day and decide to wear a tank top, which I have done before.”

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Eilish also addresses the media attention surrounding a recent photo of her in a tank top. Last summer, a photo emerged of the singer wearing a tank top rather than her normal baggy shirts and sweatshirts. The photo ended up trending on Twitter and sparked controversy over what individuals should be saying about a then 17-year-old’s body.

“Well, I do that [wear a tank top] and suddenly my boobs are trending on Twitter. Which is fine – that shit looks good.”

Her relationship with social media is part of the reason why the singer decided to scale back her presence on the internet. In the interview, she says that the pressure and constant clickbait culture surrounding her name is why she decided to take a break.

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“Look, I am clickbait at the moment,” she says. “Anything with my name on it or anything I say or do can and will be used against me. I don’t watch people’s [Instagram] Stories, I quit Twitter a couple of years ago, I look at the occasional meme. I feel bad that I don’t post more, as the fans want it, but I have nothing to post. Honestly. Zip.”

Billie Eilish’s NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY short film is available to watch below.

Despite her recent break from social media, Eilish has been active over the past week showing her support for the Black Lives Matter movement. She has posted a series of photos pertaining to George Floyd who was wrongfully killed at the hands of Minneapolis police.

“Felt helpless all week about this… if you want to help and you don’t know how, swipe for some things you can do to SPEAK UP ❤️ #blacklivesmatter”

 

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To show support through donations, connect with grassroots campaigns and obtain resources for allies, please refer to the links below.

Help the family of George Floyd here.
Fight for Breonna Taylor here.
Help the family of Ahmaud Arbery here.
To sign petitions for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and more, click here.
Donate to one or more community bail funds for protesters here.
Click here for more resources for protestors including pro-bono lawyers.
Visit Movement For Black Lives for additional ways you can help the cause.
Click here to connect with leaders building grassroots campaigns.
Here are some anti-racism resources for allies who want to learn more.
For other ways to donate, please head here.