Billie Eilish Opens Up About Her Historic 'Horrible' Relationship With Her Body

Katie O'Malley
·6-min read
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images

From ELLE

Update 26/01/2020: Billie Eilish Responds To Body-Shaming After Paparazzi Picture

Trigger warning: This article describes some descriptions of disordered eating and self-harm.

Billie Eilish has discussed the Paparazzi picture that led to a lot of unwanted discussion and scrutiny online and opened up about her historic negative relationship with her body.

In October, the Grammy winner was photographed in a rare position: Outside in public. Due to the singer's overwhelming public persona and fan devotion, Eilish is rarely photographed out and about. In this photo, instead of the baggy clothes we are used to seeing Eilish wearing, she was wearing a tighter tank top leading to appalling body shaming and a consequential debate over her body and body positivity (which you can read more about below).

Reflecting on that moment, Eilish - appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair - says that those closest to her were worried about the picture and its consequences due to the 19-year-0ld's history battling body insecurities, mental health issues and disordered eating.

'I think that the people around me were more worried about it than I was, because the reason I used to cut myself was because of my body. To be quite honest with you, I only started wearing baggy clothes because of my body,' Eilish disclosed.

Photo credit: Debbie Hickey - Getty Images
Photo credit: Debbie Hickey - Getty Images

The star continued that she wasn't hugely affected by the pictures or triggered speculation because she in a good place in her life and her relationship with her body, compared to the disordered eating and relationship with food she used to have, which started in adolescence.

'If that had happened three years ago, when I was in the midst of my horrible body relationship—or dancing a ton, five years ago, I wasn’t really eating. I was, like, starving myself. I remember taking a pill that told me that it would make me lose weight and it only made me pee the bed—when I was 12. It’s just crazy. I can’t even believe.. I thought that I would be the only one dealing with my hatred for my body, but I guess the internet also hates my body. So that’s great... The internet hates women.'

Here's hoping that with one of the world's biggest stars drawing attention to the damage body-shaming can do, 'the internet' begins to stop its incessant speculation over women's bodies soon.

For help and support for eating disorders visit Beat.

Original story 15/10/2020: Billie Eilish Responds To Being Body-Shamed , Shares Video About 'Normalising Real Bodies'

Billie Eilish reportedly shared a video about the dangers of body-shaming after being unfairly criticised online for her choice of clothing and body shape last week.

The 18-year-old singer was recently photographed out on a walk in Los Angeles dressed in a beige-coloured vest top and matching coloured shorts.

Social media users and publications shared the photo, with one Twitter user’s body shaming caption on the image prompting backlash online.

Earlier this week, the singer seemingly reacted to the criticism about her appearance on her Instagram Stories by sharing a video of herself walking past her numerous awards and winking. She also shared a clip posted by TikTok user Chizi Duru discussing the importance of normalising bodies, reports The Independent.

‘Y'all gotta start normalising real bodies, okay?’ Duru says in the video. ‘Not everybody has a wagon behind them, okay? Guts are normal - they're normal. Boobs sag, especially after breastfeeding. Instagram isn't real.

‘Instagram has warped a lot of y’all into thinking NORMAL bodies are abnormal. NO,’ they captioned the post on their Instagram. [sic]'

The ‘Bad Guy’ singer later shared a photo of herself on Instagram with the caption: ‘Do you really want to go back in time?’

Since the recent images of the singer were shared widely on social media, Eilish’s fans have come to her defence and called out her body shamers.

The posts come months after the pop star shared a short film titled 'Not My Responsibility', which involves her discussion the public’s opinions about her appearance.

‘Do you know me? Do you really know me?’ Eilish says in the clip. ‘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.

‘Would you like me to be smaller? Weaker? Softer? Taller?" Eilish continued. ‘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?’

In an interview with GQ magazine, published in June, the teenager opened up about her style and admitted to sometimes feeling ‘trapped’ in the image she’s created.

‘Here’s a bomb for you: I have never felt desired,’ she told the publication.

‘My past boyfriends never made me feel desired. None of them. And it’s a big thing in my life that I feel I have never been physically desired by somebody.

Photo credit: Kevin Winter/BBMA2020 - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kevin Winter/BBMA2020 - Getty Images

'So I dress the way I dress as I don’t like to think of you guys - I mean anyone, everyone - judging it, or the size of it. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t wake up one day and decide to wear a tank top, which I have done before.'

On Wednesday night, Eilish received three gongs at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards last night — Top New Artist, Top Female Artist and Top Billboard 200 Album. During her acceptance speech for Top Female Artist, she urged her fans to vote in the upcoming US election and wear face masks.

‘This is so nuts. Thank you so much, Billboard,’ Eilish said about her award. ‘Thank you to all the women who have come before me and paved my way. I love you.

‘Please vote, please wear a mask, please wash your hands. Be safe. Take care.

‘Lemme tell y’all something: when people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power,’ she said. ‘They’re afraid of your power. There’s power in who you are. There’s power in your voice.’

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