In a short film released on 27th May, Billie Eilish is speaking directly to body shamers — and her message is powerful.
Eilish, 18, has been outspoken about how public scrutiny of her body has affected her in the past. In an interview with Dazed earlier this year, she talked about reading the comments left under pictures she posted of herself on vacation. “There were comments like, ‘I don’t like her anymore because as soon as she turns 18 she’s a whore,’” Eilish said. “Like, dude. I can’t win. I cannot win.”
In her new film, titled "Not My Responsibility," Eilish slowly undresses, then sinks into a pool of black water, while speaking directly to the audience in a haunting voiceover. "Some people hate what I wear. Some people praise it. Some people use it to shame others. Some people use it to shame me," she says in the video, which she posted to YouTube and her Instagram page. "Would you like me to be smaller? Softer? Taller? Would you like me to be quiet?"
She continues, saying, "If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I'm a slut. Though you've never seen my body, you still judge it, and judge me for it. Why?"
Although the short film made its official debut on YouTube, it was first played during Eilish's now-postponed world tour. One tour attendee commented on the video, saying, "Finally I can hear it without people screaming every time she took off a piece of clothing."
The five-time Grammy winner is no stranger to comments about how she dresses either. During Eilish's In My Calvins campaign video, she appeared to address these remarks, saying, "I never want the world to know everything about me. That’s why I wear big, baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion because they haven't seen what’s underneath."
But in her Dazed interview, she opened up about feeling uncomfortable in her own body, and being affected by the intense public scrutiny over what she wears. “If I wore a dress to something, I would be hated for it,” Eilish said. “People would be like, ‘You’ve changed, how dare you do what you’ve always rebelled against?’... I can’t stress it enough. I’m just wearing what I wanna wear."
Though we wish Eilish didn't have to continue shouting down body shamers, there's no denying that her message is one worth listening to, and repeating. Check out her full video here.