Billie Eilish is best known for her signature baggy clothes. She uses her fashion to protect herself and her appearance. In a Calvin Klein ad last year, she explained “Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath.”
You might think ‘well maybe she should try be more confident in herself’ or ‘will it really do that much harm wearing skinny jeans and a t-shirt?’ Well, her fashion choice was greatly backed up by body-shamers when she stepped out in a tank top and shorts.
Yes, you read that right. An 18-year-old wore a tank top and shorts in Los Angeles and the internet flooded with trolls who can’t stand to look at a real body. One man’s response in particular sparked a widespread backlash.
He tweeted: “In 10 months Billie Eilish has developed a mid-30’s wine mom boy.”
Some people joined in on the misogynistic body shaming in the comments, while others were quick to defend the singer. One girl responded: “I’m absolutely disgusted by people like you. What did she ever do to deserve this response to ger showing her body? Plus, her body is perfect, and no one should shame her for it.”
While Eilish didn’t directly respond to the hate and criticism, she shared a video by Chizi Duru about the importance of normalising bodies. In the video, Duru said “Y’all gotta start normalising real bodies, okay? Not everybody has a wagon behind them, okay? Guts are normal – they’re normal. Boobs sad, especially after breastfeeding. Instagram isn’t real.”
Duru saying “Instagram isn’t real” is something that every last person needs to remember. Of course, everybody is beautiful in its own unique way, but that doesn’t mean that the ‘insta perfect’ body type you see on social media is real. It is so easy to get access to photo editing software, or to make sure your angle flatters you, or that the lighting blurs out something you want to hide.
In May, Eilish shared a short film entitled ‘Not My Responsibility’ in which she comments on public opinions about her body appearance. In the powerful video, the pop star is seen removing a baggy jumper, revealing a form fitted tank top underneath.
“Do you know me? Do you really know me?” Eilish said in the video, “I feel you watching. Always. Nothing I do goes unseen, so while I feel your stares, your disapproval, or your sigh of relief – if I lived by them, I’d never be able to move.”
The moving short film sees Eilish ask the viewer if her body offends them or does it entice them. She notes that some people use her choice of clothes to either shame others or shame her.
It is time we start normalising normal bodies. We aren’t born with a naturally model style body, so why are we made feel ashamed of that? Why, as women, are we made feel disgusted by ourselves for having a regular body?
“If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I’m a slut.”
Author: Emily Clarke