Billie Eilish Was Shamed for Not Looking Like a Model & It's a Problem for All Women

Malinda Fusco

Photo by crommelincklars Wikimedia

To say an 18-year old Grammy-winning singer has a “30-year old wine mom body” is a problem for all women.

If you’ve ever been body shamed and told you’re too much or not enough, you know it hurts. Those feelings aren’t exclusive to us “normal” people — celebrities are just as prone to insecurities as the rest of us. Yet, celebrities are criticized far more often due to the spotlight that constantly shines on them.

Billie’s Style Came from Body Image Issues

You may have heard of Billie Eilish before. Yes, the young Grammy-winning artist extraordinaire. If you’ve watched any of her interviews, then you know that she’s not only super talented but also extremely humble.

Billie Eilish has an epic style of gender-neutral baggy clothes and bright hair. Plus, she's got the voice of an angel. If you’ve mistaken her for a deity come to sing for us lowly humans, I don’t blame you. I have too. But the fact is that she’s human and, like me and you, has body issues all the same. Underneath the baggy clothes, bright hair dye, and celebrity level status, Billie Eilish is normal.

In an April 2020 interview, Billie Eilish stated that she adopted her signature style of baggy clothes to hide her body.

“The only reason I did it was ‘cos I hated my body.”

She Opened the Discussion

A month later, in May 2020, Eilish released a short video titled Not My Responsibility. In it, she talked about her body and the issues she’s faced with being judged for her body. She said:

“If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I’m a slut,” she says. “Though you’ve never seen my body, you still judge it, and judge me for it. Why?”

Obviously, Billie is subject to society’s cruel standards just like the rest of us. The difference is that she has a massive spotlight on her. Sadly, the judgments have only just begun. As her popularity increases, so do the number of people that target her for bullying and cruel comments.

Let’s be honest. Sex sells, and it’s a problem.

A lot of women in the music industry use their sex appeal to sell records and garner more attention. Look at most female artists. Unfortunately, women are expected to look a certain way, instead of just relying on pure talent (which Billie has a lot of).

And just like sex sells, a body that’s not porn star material can hurt a musician’s image too. Think about how many times you've seen celebrities get torn apart in magazines or online for their bodies.

Think about that for a second. Celebrities don’t have their art alone to worry about, oh no. That would be too easy. Instead, they have to worry about their image. They have to worry about what they look like more than most people do. After all, if they gain a few pounds, they’re on display for millions of people. Not just their annoying relatives at the obligatory family get-togethers.

And it’s really messed up that we live in a society where people like Billie have to live with that fear and doubt in mind. But here we are.

The Internet Loses Its Shit

A few months after those releases, the paparazzi snapped some images of Billie in casual clothes. The clothes are nothing special. Bland colors. A tank top and shorts.

But the difference is that suddenly we can see Billie Eilish’s body. And her body is normal. Surprise, surprise.

However, god forbid a celebrity has a normal body. God forbid a celebrity IS normal. The internet loses its shit.

One user on Twitter went as far as to say, “in 10 months Billie Eilish has developed a mid-30’s wine mom body.”

Photo courtesy of Glamour

Many others criticize her, but just as many come to her defense.

Can we Normalize Real Bodies?

Billie herself responded in a roundabout way by posting a video on her Instagram story called “Can We Normalize Real Bodies?” By YouTuber Chizi.

In the video, Chizi says, “Y’all gotta start normalizing real bodies. Not everybody has a wagon behind them. OK? Guts are normal. Boobs sag — especially after breastfeeding. Instagram isn’t real.”

“Guts are normal…Instagram isn’t real.”

Our society has gotten worse about how we view women’s bodies. This can be seen in many ways, but a good example is store mannequins. According to The Guardian, the “average” mannequin measures a 24-inch waist. The average American woman’s waist? 33-inches. See the problem?

If you don't, let me elaborate. Store mannequins are smaller than the average American woman. Store mannequins model the clothes that average American women buy. So when a woman views the clothes on the mannequin, advertised at a smaller size than them, it's natural for women to compare themselves. The mannequin is wearing the clothes as the designers have advertised them. The mannequin's size is the way they are "supposed" to look. At least, that's the message the store sends.

No wonder over 80% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance (including Billie Eilish)!

Real bodies are not often portrayed in media. But real bodies are normal, and in shaming them we create an elusive goal and perpetual dissatisfaction for ourselves and others.

Shatter the Illusion, Speak Up!

Billie Eilish was ridiculed for having a normal body. But she didn’t stay silent.

Silence is the true shackle of society.

Chizi, Billie Eilish, and countless others are fighting the poison that’s crept into our culture, trying to make us believe that women should be a certain way or size.

And we need to join them in speaking up.

Fight the illusion that magazines, the internet, television, and even fucking mannequins are drilling into our brains. How can we shatter this illusion?

  • Recognize that normal bodies exist and should be celebrated.
  • Speak up when you see body shaming.
  • Practice self-love and acceptance — be part of the 20% of women that love their bodies!

There are far more important things than if someone’s tits sag or if they have a gut. What matters is kindness and talent, and Billie Eilish is the queen of both.

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