Billie Eilish dedicated an entire segment of a recent concert to addressing body shamers and revealing that the reason opts to wear baggy clothing is to avoid being overly sexualised. At the time, the 18-year-old said in a video montage, “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?”
But fast-forward five months and the internet is back at it, criticising Eilish for the photos of her out in LA wearing a singlet and shorts because apparently, her body isn’t what they’d wanted or expected. In response to the ridiculous commentary, Eilish posted a TikTok by blogger Chizi Duru, who says in the clip, “Y’all gotta start normalising real bodies, okay? Not everybody has a wagon behind them, okay? Guts are normal; they’re normal. Boobs sag, especially after breastfeeding. Instagram isn’t real.”
Back in April, Eilish spoke to Dazed about an Instagram video she shared of herself in a bikini, which instantly started trending at number one on Twitter. “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.” Eilish also recalled a time last year when she was photographed wearing a tank top, similar to what happened this week. “I saw comments like ‘How dare she talk about not wanting to be sexualised and wear this?!’” she said.
Recently, the singer told ELLE that it quite rightly frustrates her that she has to change the way she dresses just to avoid other people sexualising her. “It makes me mad. I have to wear a big shirt for you not to feel uncomfortable about my boobs!”
Eilish went on to say that her breasts have gotten her slut- and body-shamed in the past, and that’s why she chooses to cover them. “I was recently FaceTiming a close friend of mine who’s a dude, and I was wearing a tank top. He was like, ‘Ugh, put a shirt on!’ And I said, ‘I have a shirt on.’ Someone with smaller boobs could wear a tank top, and I could put on that exact tank top and get slut-shamed because my boobs are big. That is stupid. It’s the same shirt!”
As Jameela Jamil so eloquently puts it:
The lows we have stooped to when we are bullying an 18 year old pop star about her body, forgetting that not only is she human, but there are children watching our behavior internalizing our words against themselves and others, learning from you how to make this world uglier. pic.twitter.com/GpBJFu8SCc
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) October 15, 2020