Billie Eilish Speaks Out About Sexual Abuse Of Minors In New British Vogue Interview
The wide-ranging interview was accompanied by a photoshoot that showed the 19-year-old pop star’s new look.
Billie Eilish spoke out about systemic abuse of minors and her own experience of being taken advantage of in a recent wide-ranging interview with British Vogue. Eilish just released the new single“Your Power” off her upcoming album that delves into sexual abuse.
The 19-year-old musician unveiled a new look over the weekend for the June cover of British Vogue, wearing custom couture and showcasing her blonde hair. The form-fitting corsets and bodysuits were a stark contrast to Eilish’s signature baggy, designer-clad, style. Eilish said she chose loose clothing because her body “was the initial reason for my depression when I was younger.” In the new interview, Eilish said, “It’s all about what makes you feel good.”
Eilish has previously said that she wears baggy clothes to protect herself from media scrutiny, including in a widely covered 2017 Calvin Klein campaign. The new Vogue shoot was Eilish’s idea and draws inspiration from pinup Betty Brosmer and photographer Elmer Batters’ subjects.
Last October, Eilish was the center of celebrity gossip when a paparazzi photo of her in a form-fitting vest was circulated.
“It made me really offended when people were like, ‘Good for her for feeling comfortable in her bigger skin,’” Eilish said of the media attention from the photo. “Jesus Christ?! Good for me? F**k off! The more the internet and the world care about somebody that’s doing something they’re not used to, they put it on such a high pedestal that then it’s even worse."
Eilish spoke about women’s sexuality and the misogynistic expectations she faces as she chose to change her look.
“Suddenly you’re a hypocrite if you want to show your skin, and you’re easy and you’re a slut and you’re a whore,” Eilish continued. “If I am, then I’m proud. Me and all the girls are hoes, and f**k it, y’know? 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.”
In her new song “Your Power,” Eilish sings about an older man abusing an underage girl: “It’s an open letter to people who take advantage – mostly men.” She told British Vogue she has personal experience of abuse “when she was younger” but did not get into details. The article notes that the perpetrator was not a music industry figure.
Eilish said that she doesn’t want people to listen to the song and try and figure out who it’s about, but instead understand the message she’s trying to convey about systemic abuse. Eilish’s goal with the song, she said, is to convey that anyone can be a victim of sexual or domestic abuse.
“It’s really not at all about one person,” she continued. “I don’t know one girl or woman who hasn’t had a weird experience, or a really bad experience. And men, too – young boys are taken advantage of constantly.”
Eilish continued: “You can always be taken advantage of. That’s a big problem in the world of domestic abuse or statutory rape – girls that were very confident and strong-willed finding themselves in situations where they’re like, ‘Oh my god, I’m the victim here?’ And it’s so embarrassing and humiliating and demoralising to be in that position of thinking you know so much and then you realise, I’m being abused right now.”
Eilish said she’s prepared for critics to fixate on her clothes in the photoshoot and tell her: “‘You’re going to complain about being taken advantage of as a minor, but then you’re going to show your boobs?’”
Her response? “Yes I am, motherf**ker! I’m going to because there’s no excuse.”
Eilish took home two awards at the 2021 Grammys after breaking records last year when she swept four of the biggest categories in 2020. Her new album “Happier Than Ever” will drop in July.