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Billie Eilish is addressing negative comments she received after sharing footage of herself wearing a bathing suit earlier this year.
While the 18-year-old singer is known for her baggy designer outfits, and has spoken out in the past about her “toxic relationship” with her body, she’s not hiding underneath oversized tees 24/7. But in a new interview with Dazed, Eilish says she’s gotten backlash when she’s gone out in more revealing looks.
“I saw comments like, ‘How dare she talk about not wanting to be sexualized and wear this?!’” the Grammy winner says of the response to photos showing her wearing a tank top on a hot day last year.
And when she included footage of herself wearing a one-piece swimsuit during her trip to Hawaii in January, she says commenters tried to shame her.
“It was trending,” Eilish says of the swimsuit shot. “There were comments like, ‘I don’t like her any more because as soon as she turns 18 she’s a w***e.’ Like, dude. I can’t win. I can-not win.”
In March, Eilish addressed the constant scrutiny over her body and loose-fitting wardrobe by including footage of her stripping down to a bra top during her concert; in a voiceover, the teen hit out at the unsolicited opinions and assumptions made about her.
“You have opinions about my opinions, about my music, about my clothes, about my body,” she said. “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. And 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,” she continued. “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? If what I wear is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I am a sl*t.
“Though you’ve never seen my body, you still judge it and judge me for it. Why? You 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?”
Speaking to Dazed, the “No Time to Die” singer says the attention has impacted her body image.
“There was a point last year where I was naked and I didn’t recognize my body ’cos I hadn’t seen it in a while,” she says. “I would see it sometimes and be like, ‘Whose body is that?’ It’s not that I like (my body) now, I just think I’m a bit more OK with it.”
But she still feels pressure to stick to her signature baggy style, rather than risk being shamed.
“If I wore a dress to something, I would be hated for it,” she adds. “People would be like, ‘You’ve changed, how dare you do what you’ve always rebelled against?’ I’m like, ‘I’m not rebelling against anything, really.’ I can’t stress it enough. I’m just wearing what I wanna wear. If there’s a day when I’m like, ‘You know what, I feel comfortable with my belly right now, and I wanna show my belly,’ I should be allowed to do that.”
This isn’t the first time Eilish has spoken out against trolling. In February, she admitted that she’d just stopped reading online comments because “it was ruining my life.”
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