Billie Eilish has stood up for herself in the most authentic way possible after facing backlash from self-reported fans and haters alike.
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Early on in her career, the 21-year-old singer was known for having a baggy style full of loose clothes and basketball shorts. Since then, she’s evolved to include more fitted and feminine styles, which now has critics calling her a “sell out” and some wishing for her original style to “come back.” But Eilish took to her Instagram stories to set the record straight in what she called a, “letter to some comments.”
"I spent the first 5 years of my career getting absolutely OBLITERATED by you fools for being boy-ish and dressing how I did & constantly being told I'd be hotter if I acted like a woman” she wrote with a sneering selfie. “And now when I feel comfortable enough to wear anything remotely feminine or fitting, I CHANGED and am a sellout.. and 'what happened to her' oMg iT's nOt thE sAmE biLlie she's just like the rest bla blah… you guys are true idiots." To conclude her response on her feminine versus masculine style, Eilish wrote bluntly, "lol i can be BOTH you f***ing bozos. LET WOMEN EXIST!"
And the fascination, or fetishization, around Eilish’s appearance is understandably maddening. She was only 15 years old when she released “Ocean Eyes” with her producer-brother Finneas, and then 17 years old as her album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? reached universal acclaim. But her status as a minor never seemed to dissuade inappropriate comments. In response, she decided that the best way to protect herself from such narratives was to dress in a baggy, masculine-like style. “Nobody can have an opinion because they haven't seen what's underneath," Eilish explained in a 2019 Calvin Klein commercial. Since she’s changed this defensive clothing style, Eilish has experienced intense double standards. Her music has always expressed this too, with lines like, “If I wear what is comfortable / I am not a woman / If I shed the layers / I'm a slut” from “Not My Responsibility.”
The young singer-songwriter has also spoken about being compared to her past self, and how she feels the public wants to curb her own personal growth. “It’s very strange to grow up and become an adult and… the person everyone thinks is who you are, is yourself as a teenager,” she told Conan on his podcast last month. “It’s very jarring and hard to deal with.”
Due to the response, her stories became a whole series. “FUN FACT! did you know that women are multifaceted!!!!!??? shocking right??” Eilish quipped in a follow-up post. “Also that femininity does not equal weakness???!!!! omg?! insane right? who knew. And also totally unheard of and insane to want to express yourself differently at different times."
Eilish is clearly facing a double-edged sword that need not exist in the first place. Eilish is evolving and growing up in the public eye, and it makes sense that her clothing would reflect that. And, keeping true to herself, Eilish again responded with a few choice words. “Suck my absolute c*** and b**** you women hating ass weirdos”, she wrote, and signed off with a peace sign selfie. Right on, Billie!