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The 19-year-old singer has undergone a classic pin-up makeover for the fashion magazine — at her own request. Eilish, who until recently had jet-black hair with neon green roots, is seen wearing her newly lightened locks in loose, vintage-inspired waves, modeling a number of designer lingerie and corsets in a huge departure from her typically tomboyish style.
Eilish, who has previously explained that she typically prefers oversized clothes after struggling with body image issues that made her depressed, has been outspoken about the attention on her figure, with a tank top worn during an outing last fall causing an influx of body-shaming remarks. Speaking to British Vogue, she acknowledges that her revealing new shoot is bound to fan the flames of controversy.
“‘If you’re about body positivity, why would you wear a corset? Why wouldn’t you show your actual body?’” she imagines critics responding. “My thing is that I can do whatever I want."
She adds, "It’s all about what makes you feel good. If you want to get surgery, go get surgery. If you want to wear a dress that somebody thinks that you look too big wearing, f**k it — if you feel like you look good, you look good.”
But the Grammy winner is enjoying the agency to express herself in a new way, admitting, “I feel more like a woman, somehow."
"Because of the way that I feel that the world sees me, I haven’t felt really desired,” she says. “But that’s really my whole life, though, so I don’t know if it’s anything to do with fame.”
Related: Billie Eilish reveals why she hid her blonde hair
The pop star says media representations of the "classic hot girl" stereotype "really f***ed me up." Now, she wants to feel "empowered" whether she's sporting baggy sweats or a custom Gucci corset.
“Suddenly you’re a hypocrite if you want to show your skin, and you’re easy and you’re a slut and you’re a whore," she tells the magazine. "If I am, then I’m proud. Me and all the girls are hoes, and f**k it, y’know? Let’s turn it around and be empowered in that. Showing your body and showing your skin — or not — should not take any respect away from you.”
She adds, "Don’t make me not a role model because you’re turned on by me."
Of her daring new shoot, Eilish admits, “I’ve literally never done anything in this realm at all — y’know, besides when I’m alone and s***.” She also says she was drawn to the idea of waist-cinching corsetry partly because "if I’m honest with you, I hate my stomach."
Discomfort with her body “was the initial reason for my depression when I was younger," Eilish adds, and hiding her figure under oversized clothes offered a level of safety. But it also put her on a "high pedestal" that made her subject to intense scrutiny and commentary she found condescending. The response to her tank top last fall was once such moment.
"It made me really offended when people were like, ‘Good for her for feeling comfortable in her bigger skin,’” she says. “Jesus Christ?! Good for me? F**k off! The more the internet and the world care about somebody that’s doing something they’re not used to, they put it on such a high pedestal that then it’s even worse.”
Eilish is speaking out about misogyny on her next album, Happier Than Ever, which she just announced will be released this summer. She tells British Vogue that her provocative shoot shouldn't undercut her message calling out "people who take advantage — mostly men" or her own personal experience of abuse.
“‘You’re going to complain about being taken advantage of as a minor, but then you’re going to show your boobs?’” she says. “Yes I am, motherf**ker! I’m going to because there’s no excuse.”
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