Billie Eilish is afraid some people misinterpret why she dresses the way she does.
The 17-year-old “Bad Guy” singer has had a big year — not only did she drop a chart-topping debut album, but Eilish also sold out an upcoming arena tour and picked up six Grammy nominations, launching her to the top of the crop in music.
But experiencing such fame (which she previously described as “gross“) has brought along commenters and media attention about her body, a problem she thought she solved by defining her personal style with baggy, unrevealing outfits.
The young artist hoped to end the conversation on her figure by effectively hiding it, but now, Eilish tells Billboard many people are still missing the point.
“I think my message — and I don’t really know if I have one — is miscommunicated sometimes,” Eilish told the outlet. “Sometimes I get this response from parents like, ‘Thank you for dressing the way you do so my daughter doesn’t dress like a slut,’ and I’m like, ‘Whoa, that is the opposite of what I’m trying to do.'”
She added: “If anything, I’m trying to make it easier for your daughter to wear what she wants.”
Eilish, who was named Billboard‘s Woman of the Year, said as a young female artist in the music business she is inherently viewed differently than her male counterparts.
“I remember a year when I was so anxious about my future. I was worried that because I was a girl, people wouldn’t think I was cool or interesting — they would think I was just super basic and lame,” she said. “And a lot of people do think that, which is whatever, but the majority are giving me a really good reaction and validation for what I do.”
As far as her wardrobe is concerned, she opened up to ELLE earlier this year about the reasoning behind her outfit decisions — which often consist of oversized shorts, T-shirts and hoodies — as well as her frustrations with how people unfairly judge her based on her body.
“The point is not, ‘Hey, let’s go slut-shame all these girls for not dressing like Billie Eilish,’” she told the magazine. “It makes me mad. I have to wear a big shirt for you not to feel uncomfortable about my boobs!”
Eilish said her breasts have been an issue for as long as she can remember, which is why she chooses to cover them.
“I was recently FaceTiming a close friend of mine who’s a dude, and I was wearing a tank top,” she said. “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!”
When Eilish turns 18 next Wednesday, fans might start to see a style evolution for the singer, as she said since she’s growing up, she wants to show her body more often and on her own terms.
Of the potential style change, she said: “I know it would be a huge thing. … I know people will say, ‘I’ve lost all respect for her.’”
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