Pop sensation and Grammy Award-winning singer, Billie Eilish, swept the world off it’s feet back in the year 2015, when her breakthrough song Ocean Eyes went viral on SoundCloud, while Eilish was surprisingly 14 years of age. Now, aged 18, she is the youngest artist to have won Grammys across all four major Grammy Award categories, including Album of the Year and Best New Artist, in the year 2020.
Her increasing popularity came with the arguably irritating fact that she was now under the radar, with fans, onlookers and commenters watching her every move. With a unique voice and an equally unique look, Billie manages to masterfully center her career around her singer/songwriter achievements, steering clear of any marketing aimed towards her physical appearance, neck down. She is often seen rocking designer baggy clothes and track pants thrice her size. Whether it’s a red carpet event, or a live concert, one can always expect to see Billie in oversized designer clothing. In an interview with Calvin Klein for her #MYCALVIN campaign, Billie clearly states the reason for her signature oversized style – to take the attention off her body, avoid being sexualized and bring focus to her artistry instead. “Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath. Nobody can be like, ‘she’s slim/thick’, ‘she’s not slim/thick enough‘, ‘she’s got a flat a**’, she’s got a fat a**’. No one can say any of that because they don’t know.”
YouTube Video Via Billie Eilish
May 2020 sees Billie releasing an empowering short film on her YouTube channel, titled Not My Responsibility, addressing the remarks and opinions people have of her, her body and her choices. Produced and directed by Eilish herself, the film was debuted during her Where Do We Go? world tour which had to be paused due to the ongoing pandemic.
In the video, Billie is seen standing in a dark room, with an almost haunting soundtrack playing in the background. She begins to take off her oversized hoodie, revealing a black jacket underneath, during which her voice-over intercedes, “Do you know me? Really know me?”, her voice clear and crisp.
“Do my shoulders provoke you?
Does my chest?
Am I my stomach?
The body I was born with,
Is it not what you wanted?
If I wear what is comfortable
I am not a woman
If I shed the layers
I’m a sl*t
Though you’ve never seen my body
You still judge it”
Standing in a black tank top, Billie moves to the rhythm of her own recitation, gradually immersing herself into a thick black liquid, all while never taking her eyes off the camera. She goes on to say,
“Is my value based only on your perception?
Or is your opinion of me not my responsibility“
She then rises from the black liquid, fully drenched.
Not My Responsibility can be seen as a response to the body-shaming Eilish faces everyday, despite her oversized style taking focus off body shape. Her complete stand against being sexualized as a teenager, being policed for her clothing choice, is a central theme throughout the short film. In an ideal world, the perception of her body would be the last thing thing this young star would need to care about. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for the world we live in, with multiple brands, companies, agencies etc actively endorsing the promotion of someone or something via their physical appearance. Billie Eilish’s Not My Responsibility is a fitting response to the struggles she is made to face everyday, surrounding her body type, her physical appearance, her choice of clothing among many others. Not My Responsibility serves as a much-deserved clap back to anyone with opinions about Billie’s physical appearance, and has served as yet another bright light during these dark times.
Watch Not My Responsibility below
Featured Image Via Vogue