As more and more young people turn towards cosmetic surgery in real life, and use apps like Facetune online, beauty standards for young women and men continue to worsen—we’re stuck in a never-ending cycle that we continue to perpetuate. But thankfully, the next generation of celebrities includes people like Billie Eilish, who makes sure to be open and honest with her fans about her body insecurities and the constant struggle for perfection.
Eilish has spoken out numerous times in the past about why she wears baggy clothes on stage and in public, saying she wanted to hide her figure after years of struggling with her mental health because of her size. In an interview with Vanity Fair in January, Eilish noted she took diet pills aged 12 and self-harmed “because of my body.”
In a new interview with The Guardian, Eilish spoke candidly about the effect of seeing others with the “perfect” body, as well as how cosmetic surgery and editing apps, like Facetune, contribute to making women feel like they’re not good enough in their own skin.
While discussing her new album, the 19-year-old explained the song ‘Overheated’ is directed at people who promote unattainable beauty standards. “It’s completely fine to get work done – do this, do that, do what makes you feel happy. It’s just when you deny it and say, ‘Oh, I got this all on my own, and if you just tried harder, you could get it.’ That makes me literally furious,” she said. “It is so bad for young women – and boys, too – to see that.”
Speaking from her own experience, Eilish added, “I see people online, looking like I’ve never looked. And immediately I am like, ‘oh my God, how do they look like that?’ I know the ins and outs of this industry, and what people actually use in photos, and I actually know what looks real can be fake. Yet I still see it and go, oh God, that makes me feel really bad.”
“I’m very confident in who I am, and I’m very happy with my life…I’m obviously not happy with my body,” she continued, “but who is?”
As a coping mechanism, Eilish has always relied on baggy outfits to disguise her shape, and to distract herself from thinking about her body, especially when she’s performing to a crowd. “When I’m on stage, I have to disassociate from the ideas I have of my body,” she explained. “Because I wear clothes that are bigger and easier to move in without showing everything – they can be really unflattering. In pictures, they look like I don’t even know what. I just completely separate the two. Because I have such a terrible relationship with my body, like you would not believe, so I just have to disassociate.”
She continued, “Then you get a paparazzi picture taken when you were running to the door and had just put anything on, and didn’t know the picture’s being taken, and you just look how you look, and everyone’s like, ‘Fat!,'” Eilish continued, seemingly referencing the moment last year when photos circulated the internet of her in a tight tank top and shorts.
“We only need bodies to eat and walk around and poop. We only need them to survive,” Eilish continued. “It’s ridiculous that anybody even cares about bodies at all. Like, why? Why do we care?” One more time for the people in the back.