Billie Eilish has condemned a German magazine over their use of an altered image of her which depicted her shirtless.
The 17-year-old singer said she did not give consent for the magazine, Nylon Germany, to use her image on the cover of their publication ‘in any way,’ adding it was ‘not even a real picture’ of her.
The magazine has since withdrawn the cover, which featured Billie as an avatar to highlight the power of ‘digital prodigy artists,’ Nylon claimed.
After the publication shared a now-deleted picture of the magazine cover on their Instagram page, Billie responded by saying: ‘What the fuck is this shit.’
The singer commented beneath the post:
i was never approached by nylon about this piece whatsoever. i did not know it was happening nor did anyone on my team. this is not even a real picture of me. i had absolutely no creative input.
The 17-year-old went on to call out the magazine for making the picture appear topless, writing: ‘youre gonna make a picture of me shirtless?? thats not real?? at 17? and make it the cover????’
It’s important to note Billie has previously made clear that she does not wish to be sexualised in any way, with the baggy clothes she wears acting as a shield to protect her from public scrutiny.
.@BillieEilish calls out NYLON Magazine for making a photoshopped image of her their official cover without permission from her:
“You’re gonna make a picture of me shirtless?! thats not real?? at 17? and make it the cover???? I did not consent in any way” pic.twitter.com/PHhDygYQQm
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) August 29, 2019
So for a magazine to publish a digitally-created image showing her topless without her consent, particularly when the singer previously said she ‘never want[s] the world to know everything about’ her, is abhorrent.
In her #MYCALVINS campaign, Billie explained:
I never want the world to know everything about me. I mean that’s why I wear big, baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath you know?
Nobody can be like ‘oh she’s slim thick, she’s not slim thick, she’s got a flat ass, she’s got a fat ass’. No-one can say any of that because they don’t know.
Despite this, the singer has still found herself having to defend her choice to wear baggy clothes, telling NME: ‘nobody would bat an eye’ if a guy wore the type of clothes she wears, but because she’s a girl she constantly has people telling her what she should or shouldn’t wear.
Explaining how people tell her to ‘dress like a girl for once’, Billie also said she gets told to ‘wear tight clothes’ because she’d be ‘much prettier and your career would be so much better’. The singer added: ‘No it wouldn’t. It literally would not.’
After Billie called Nylon Germany out for their actions and her fans branded the cover as ‘disrespectful’ and ‘creepy’, the magazine removed the picture and replaced it with a similar image featuring German social media stars Lena and Lisa.
They also responded to the claims, editing their post to read:
We as NYLON Germany value and stand for artistic freedom, but we also respect the feelings of @billieeilish and her fandom. We are fans ourselves. Therefore we decided to remove our second cover of Billie Eilish.
For this cover, it was never our intention to create a look that is confusing or insulting to Billie. It was only ever our intention to honor her impact by creating this avatar, which is part of a cover series highlighting the power of digital prodigy artists.
View this post on Instagram
Revealing our second collaborative „double” cover featuring boundary-breaking twins @lisaandlena as digital avatars in our futuristic 3D artwork. New issue #8 on DIGITAL PRODIGIES drops this FRIDAY. This issue is all different while still keeping our NYLON spirit alive: Telling the story of digital prodigies who are redefining the future of being a Teen Superstar. The artistic creation of the avatars is dedicated to the achievements and the positive effects they have had on millions around the globe – including us. What’s more: @kiernanshipka, @stefaniegiesinger & @kimpetras opened up about the struggles and chances of the Generation Z. We’re transcending the limits of growing up and follow @iv.jay around New York City, talk messing up with @riconasty and channel the laissez-faire vibe. Issue available at newsstands on Friday and to order online via link in bio. Cover art designed by @e.memories ・ ・ ➡️ EDIT We as NYLON Germany value and stand for artistic freedom, but we also respect the feelings of @billieeilish and her fandom. We are fans ourselves. Therefore we decided to remove our second cover of Billie Eilish. For this cover, it was never our intention to create a look that is confusing or insulting to Billie. It was only ever our intention to honor her impact by creating this avatar, which is part of a cover series highlighting the power of digital prodigy artists. ・ ・ ・ ・ ・ ・ ・ ・ ・ #lisaandlena #leli #lelifamily #twins #loveit #musically #lisaandlenalove #lenaandlisa #nylongermany #coverstory #3D #genz #digitalprodigies #releaseday #friday #boundarybreaking #cover
The American edition of the magazine has distanced itself from Nylon Germany, saying they are a ‘different company’ and ‘strongly disagree’ with what they have done, as per The Guardian.
Hopefully the magazine will have learnt from its mistakes, but a good rule of thumb for the future? Don’t digitally alter an image of a 17-year-old girl to appear topless on your cover – especially without her consent.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).