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Billie Eilish’s powerful body image message: ‘We only need them to survive’

Entertainment:

Billie Eilish has revealed she is “not happy” with her body, but questions “who is” in a candid new interview.

The teen singer and vocal advocate for body acceptance spoke with The Guardian in the lead up to the release of her new album Happier Than Ever.

Eilish, 19, unpacked what happiness meant to her, growing up under a microscope in the music industry and the pressures of social media.

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The teen singer spoke out ahead of the release of her new album Happier Than Ever. (Instagram)

“I see people online, looking like I’ve never looked, and immediately I am like, ‘Oh my God, how do they look like that?'” she explained.

“I know the ins and outs of this industry, and what people actually use in photos, and I actually know what looks real can be fake. Yet I still see it and go, ‘Oh God.’ That makes me feel really bad.”

Eilish said despite her insecurities, she remains “very confident” and “very happy” in her life.

“I’m obviously not happy with my body,” she clarified, before adding, “but who is?”

The multi-Grammy Award-winning artist says images taken by the paparazzi and social media have had a profound impact on her body image.

“We only need bodies to eat and walk around and poop. We only need them to survive,” she shared.

“It’s ridiculous that anybody even cares about bodies at all. Like, why? Why do we care? You know, when you really think about it?”

The complex relationship, Eillish said, has forced her to “disassociate” her perception of her body when she’s onstage.

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“I have such a terrible relationship with my body, like you would not believe, so I just have to disassociate,” she admitted.

Eilish, known for sporting loose-fitting clothes onstage, recently debuted a new look on the cover of British Vogue in June this year.

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Wearing a custom-made Gucci corset and Agent Provocateur lingerie, the singer divided online commentary for exposing her body for the first time publicly.

In the accompanying interview, Eilish said her body, “was the initial reason for [her] depression when I was younger,” adding, “don’t make me not a role model because you’re turned on by me.”

“Suddenly you’re a hypocrite if you want to show your skin… Let’s turn it around and be empowered in that. Showing your body and showing your skin – or not – should not take any respect away from you,” she said.

In her January 2021 interview with Vanity Fair, Eilish said she had self-harmed at points in her life due to her body image battles.

Speaking ahead of the release of her documentary, Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry, the singer said, “the reason I used to cut myself was because of my body, to be quite honest with you. I only started wearing baggy clothes because of my body.”

The ‘Bad Guy’ singer said she grappled with bouts of starvation and turned to diet pills as a result of her insecurity.

“Five years ago, I wasn’t really eating. I was, like, starving myself,” she explained.

“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 twelve.”

During her Where Do We Go 2020 world tour in Miami, Eilish shared a powerful statement on the double-standards women face.

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Taking off her top, Eilish told thousands of fans: “if what I wear is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I am a s–t.”

She continued, “some people hate what I wear, some people praise it. Some people use it to shame others, some people use it to shame me. While I feel your stares, your disapproval or your sighs of relief, if I lived by them, I’d never be able to move.”

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If you or anyone you know needs help, please contact Lifeline at 13 11 14.

If you, or someone you know, are struggling with an eating disorder, you can find help, support and resources through The Butterfly Foundation: 1800 33 4673

Paulina Porizkova

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