Billie Eilish has spoken candidly about her experience of being sexualised on Twitter after wearing a tank top.
The 17-year-old singer-songwriter has long been known for wearing baggy, loose-fitting clothes. When a picture of her wearing an uncharacteristic crop top went viral, she was subjected to various inappropriate comments about her body, and not for the first time.
The photograph in question was taken while Eilish exited a bus in Nashville to greet her fans and, rather grimly, her boobs soon started trending on Twitter.
As someone who remembers all too well the constant embarrassment of being a teenage girl, I can only imagine how uncomfortable this situation was. Despite her incredible success, Eilish is after all still a human being, with all the inevitable emotions and insecurities this entails.
Now Eilish has spoken out about the unwelcome social media attention given to her boobs during an interview with Elle.
Chatting with Elle for their Women In Music issue, Billie addressed the way her body was sexualised by people on Twitter, as well as by certain supposedly reputable media outlets:
My boobs were trending on Twitter! At number one! What is that?! Every outlet wrote about my boobs!
I look good in it, I was born with f*cking boobs, bro. I was born with DNA that was gonna give me big-ass boobs.
Showing astuteness beyond her years, Eilish remarked – quite rightly – upon how women with larger breasts are all too often subjected to ‘slut shaming’ for wearing close fitting tops.
This observation will resonate with many women – myself included – who’ve been made to feel too self-conscious to go out in a top which even slightly emphasises their body shape to avoid rude and invasive comments.
Eilish told Elle:
I was recently FaceTiming a close friend of mine who’s a dude, and I was wearing a tank top. He was like, ‘Ugh, put a shirt on!’
And I said, ‘I have a shirt on.’ Someone with smaller boobs could wear a tank top, and I could put on that exact tank top and get slut-shamed because my boobs are big. That is stupid. It’s the same shirt!
With her 18th birthday on the horizon, Eilish expressed her thoughts on the difficulties she could well face if she wants to change her style:
I’m gonna be a woman. I wanna show my body. What if I wanna make a video where I wanna look desirable? Not a porno! But I know it would be a huge thing, I know people will say, ‘I’ve lost all respect for her.’
It’s pretty disheartening to consider how certain individuals’ respect for a young, talented woman like Eilish can swing on something as inconsequential as her style choices.
With her smart, insightful outlook on the hypocrisies of slut shaming, Eilish is quickly proving herself to be a strong role model for anyone who’s been shamed for bearing an inch of flesh.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.