The Oscar award-winning musician – who recently turned 21 – spoke to Vogue about her hypermobility diagnosis, and how it caused her to feel anger towards her body as part of the magazine’s January 2023 issue.
“Going through my teenage years of hating myself and all that stupid s**t, a lot of it came from my anger toward my body, and how mad I was at how much pain it’s caused me, and how much I’ve lost because of things that happened to it,” Eilish admitted, referencing a growth plate injury in her hip at 13 that forced her to give up her dreams of dancing.
“I felt like my body was gaslighting me for years,” Eilish added.
To move past her body issues towards self-acceptance, Eilish explained how she “had to go through a process of being like, ‘My body is actually me. And it’s not out to get me.’”
Following her hip injury, Eilish suffered through years of subsequent lower body injuries. The Los Angeles-native eventually went to a movement coach, who helped her discover that she actually has a condition called hypermobility syndrome.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, joint hypermobility syndrome is a connective tissue disorder that causes pain from having very flexible joints. Hypermobility can also lead to frequent injuries, muscle stiffness, tiredness, poor balance, and fainting.
Now, Eilish is on a journey of “newfound self-acceptance” through her own music. In “My Future” – Eilish’s first single from her second album Happier Than Ever – the singer writes about self-love.
“I’m in love with my future / can’t wait to meet her,” she sings in the song’s chorus.
Billie Eilish has been very open about her past body image struggles. In June 2022, the singer – who previously revealed she wears baggy clothes to avoid being sexualised – admitted her relationship with her body “has been a truly horrible, terrible thing since I was 11.”
“I love that my body is mine and that it’s with me everywhere I go,” she told the Sunday Times Magazine. “I kind of think of my body as my friend. My ugly friend! It’s complicated. But what are you gonna do?”
Despite having a “complicated” relationship with her own body, Eilish has still criticised body shamers for making negative comments about her appearance. When she was just 18 years old, Eilish shared a powerful message about body shaming during the first night of her “Where Do We Go Tour” in Miami, Florida.
In the video message, Eilish was seen removing several layers of clothing until she was left wearing just a bra, before sinking into the water. As the visual played, the singer’s voice could be heard saying: “You have opinions about my opinions; about my music; about my clothes; about my body.
“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,” 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 I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I’m a slut. Though you’ve never seen my body, you still judge it and judge me for it. Why?”
She concluded: “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?”