When Billie Eilish was photographed wearing a tank top and shorts in lieu of her usual baggy attire in October, the resulting snaps sparked plenty of conversation — and toxic body shaming comments.
Now, for Vanity Fair’s March 2021 cover story, the 19-year-old singer is opening up about her response to the viral paparazzi photo and complicated relationship with her body.
“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,” the “Therefore I Am” singer said of the trending tank top photo.
“To be quite honest with you, I only started wearing baggy clothes because of my body.”
The Grammy winner added that she was “really, really glad” the situation hadn’t happened three years ago when she was “in the midst of my horrible body relationship” or “dancing a ton, five years ago.”
Billie Eilish ditches her baggy clothes for a tank top and shorts in Los Angeles.MEGA
“I wasn’t really eating,” Eilish recalled. “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, like I — wow.”
Continued the singer, “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.”
In October, following the photo’s circulation, Eilish reposted a TikTok video of blogger Chizi Duru with the caption, “Can we normalize normal bodies?”
Earlier in 2020, she shared a similar sentiment in a short film entitled “Not My Responsibility,” in which she strips down from her usual oversized duds to a tank top.
“If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman,” she says. “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? We make assumptions about people based on their size. We decide who they are, we decide what they’re worth. 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?”
While the teen superstar is known for her signature baggy styles, she occasionally experiments with different silhouettes.
“I’m literally 18. It’s funny that I’m expected to have found myself and stick with it. I’m trying different things out,” the “Ocean Eyes” singer said of her style in a November interview with Vanity Fair.