Word to the wise: Putting someone on your magazine cover without their consent is not okay. You’d think this would be obvious, but it appears that Nylon Germany didn’t get the memo. For its latest cover, the publication created a bald, seemingly topless, robotic version of Billie Eilish, much to the singer’s dismay and horror.
On Instagram, Eilish revealed the magazine had never even approached her or her team about being on the cover. She left a lengthy comment on Nylon Germany’s post, calling out the publication for using and manipulating her image without her consent:
“1. i was never approached by nylon about this piece whatsoever. i did not know it was happening nor did anyone on my team. 2. this is not even a real picture of me. i had absolutely no creative input. 3. you’re gonna make a picture of me shirtless?? that’s not real?? at 17? and make it the cover???? even if the picture was supposed to look like some robot version of me... i did not consent in any way. 4. ANNNDDD YOU’RE GONNA REMOVE ALL MY FUCKIN HAIR? booooooooooo to you.”
It didn’t take long for the magazine to respond, stating it meant to honour Eilish and her work with the ill-advised cover.
“For this cover, it was never our intention to create a look that is confusing or insulting to Billie Eilish,” Nylon Germany responded. “It was only ever our intention to honour Billie’s impact and her work by creating this avatar, which is part of a cover series highlighting the power of digital prodigy artists. This avatar is a piece of 3D artwork created in dedication to her achievements and the positive effect she has had on millions around the globe — including us.”
The publication has since taken down images of the cover from its Instagram, but it's still viewable elsewhere.
Eilish has been explicit about her choice to wear loose-fitting clothes to keep her body out of public discourse. “I never want the world to know everything about me,” she said in a Calvin Klein campaign video released in May. “That’s why I wear big, baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion because they haven't seen what’s underneath.”
In the ad, she said that if she wore more figure-revealing clothing, she would be subjected to sexist and objectifying remarks about her body. “Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath,” she explained. “Nobody can be like, ‘she’s slim-thick,’ ‘she’s not slim-thick,’ ‘she’s got a flat ass,’ ‘she's got a fat ass.’”
Those are sentiments that women of all ages can definitely relate to, and it’s commendable that at 17, Eilish is actively working to challenge our idea of what a pop star and teenager should look or act like. Hopefully, the media will start paying attention.