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Billie Eilish ditched her previously signature neon green roots and dark hair for a creamy blonde hue earlier this year. While she initially shared that a piece of fan art depicting her as a blonde was what made her take the platinum plunge, there was another reason behind the change — and it's a pretty big bummer.
Billie, who appears on the cover of Elle magazine this month, told the magazine that the blonde hair was in part because of the fan art, but also because she wanted to blend in better. “I couldn’t go anywhere with that hair because it was so obviously me. I wanted anonymity," she shared. The green hair was obviously much more noticeable than blonde, and even after she dyed it, Billie dealt with nerves over being noticed in her downtime. “I went to a park with a friend, and I was like, ‘No, I can’t take off my hood!’ I was terrified of the paparazzi and these stalkers I’ve had. But my friend was like, ‘Don’t worry: You’re okay. Nothing’s gonna happen.’ And I took my hood off, and I felt like a new person.”
The color change-up also signified a new era for Billie, but it didn't mean she herself was changing — just her hair. “I had no goal of ‘This is going to make everybody think differently of me.’ I’ve had different-colored hair and vibes for everything I’ve ever done. I wanted this album to have its own thing," she explained, adding that not all of her fans were thrilled with the blonde hair. “The other day, I posted a video from when I had green hair, and I saw people go, ‘I miss this Billie, the green-haired Billie.' I’m still the same person. I’m not just different Barbies with different heads.”
Aside from her hair, Billie has dealt with a fair share of criticism for how she dresses too, and she also opened up about it in the interview. Some fans were upset she began wearing more form-fitting looks as part of the Happier Than Ever era, including the corset she wore on the cover of British Vogue. “People hold on to these memories and have an attachment. But it’s very dehumanizing," Bille said. “I lost 100,000 followers, just because of the boobs. People are scared of big boobs.”
Madonna told Elle that Billie is dealing with the age-old issues that countless women in the spotlight have encountered. “The problem is, we still live in a very sexist world where women are put into categories,” the musician explained. “You’re either in the virgin category or the whore category. Billie started off in a non-sexualized category, not pandering to the masses and not using her sexuality in any way, which is her choice and God bless her for that—after all, she’s been a teenager all this time. [But] if she wants to turn around and take photographs where she is portrayed as a feminine woman, showing her body in a way that she hasn’t in the past, then why should she be punished for it? Women should be able to portray themselves in any way they want. If Billie were a man, no one would be writing about this. A man can show up dressed in a suit and tie for the first three years of his career, and then the next month he could be dressed like Prince or Mick Jagger, shirt off, wearing eyeliner, and no one would say a word.”
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue