Billie Eilish debuted a brand new look on the duvet of the June situation of British Vogue. She’s traded in her signature black and neon inexperienced hair for blonde, and her outsized garments for corsets and stockings. As she enters a brand new period of her music, she’s experimenting with a brand new look too. Now that she’s 19, it appears she’s eager to embrace a brand new, extra overtly sexual aspect of herself. The most spectacular half? This is all her doing, and she or he’s not right here for anybody who has something unfavourable to say. And it’s actually refreshing and galvanizing to see a 19-year-old younger girl taking management of her personal narrative on this approach.
“Don’t make me not a role model because you’re turned on by me,” she says. She’s making a legitimate level, one thing we must always all hear. Society tends to invalidate the accomplishments of girls who select to embrace their intercourse attraction. It’s as if ladies can’t comprise multitudes. We’ve seen this time and time once more. As quickly as a lady decides to embrace her sexual aspect, she’s branded a foul function mannequin. Because patriarchal society believes which you could’t be admirable if you wish to put on a crop prime. She’s not telling her followers to expire and gown like her. Being a task mannequin isn’t about what you’re carrying; Billie Eilish embracing one other aspect of herself is one thing that needs to be seemed upon as function mannequin worthy. She is displaying the world that she is aware of who she is, and never solely that, however is snug with it.
“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. If I am, then I’m proud,” she mentioned. “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,” she tells Vogue. Fuck yeah, Billie.
Much of the article focuses on Billie Eilish’s emotions round her physique picture and the way they’ve begun to vary. Eilish has been fairly open about her clothes selections previously. Her dramatically outsized clothes was intentional — she had been tormented by physique picture points and she or he wished to restrict commentary about her physique. During that point, protecting her physique made her really feel safer, in order that’s what she selected to do. Many of us can relate, particularly throughout our teen years. She admitted within the article that her physique “was the initial reason for my depression when I was younger” and obscuring it gave her energy over it. But as issues do, her model (a throwback to ’90s hip-hop and rap tradition) grew to become synonymous together with her title.
And whether or not she appreciated it or not, her model turned her right into a physique picture icon of types. By protecting herself up, not solely was she taking cost of her happiness in her personal pores and skin, however over the narrative about who she was. Billie Eilish hitting a crimson carpet trying like Left-Eye circa 1995 made individuals not solely take discover of her, however her music. And not solely did she know that, she used it to her benefit. But now, that picture is now not serving her. She’s rising up, and this era in her life (late teenagers), particularly in a worldwide pandemic, introduced out the house for her to discover what her subsequent model, and self-expression, could possibly be.
Billie Eilish is hardly the primary feminine pop star to undertake a extra sexualized model after turning 18. I lived via the early ‘00s, when Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera went from girl-next-door sweethearts to embracing their sexual sides. Christina’s “X-tina” section was a formative a part of my very own adolescence. As a teen lady, it was empowering to see younger ladies taking management of their sexuality and being unashamed about it. Just as a result of a younger girl, and even an older girl, chooses to embrace their sexual aspect, doesn’t imply it’s about eager to attraction to the male gaze. For many ladies, embracing their sexual aspect signifies that they’re acknowledging a brand new a part of themselves. Wanting to honor that’s legitimate, and we shouldn’t decide.
Before individuals had an opportunity to voice any opinions, Eilish predicted what some individuals would say: “‘If you’re about body positivity, why would you wear a corset? Why wouldn’t you show your actual body?’” First of all, individuals who actually imagine in physique positivity wouldn’t (shouldn’t) be criticizing her option to put on a corset. But sure, there are going to be individuals who have points together with her carrying a physique shaper. Of course, that’s their drawback and never hers. In the interview, she admits being drawn to the corset as a result of she’s not a fan of the best way her abdomen appears to be like. She’s human, and prepared to be trustworthy about her physique picture struggles, and I feel that’s necessary.
That being mentioned, there are definitely elements of the interview with Billie Eilish that gave me pause. “I feel more like a woman, somehow,” she says, talking about her new blonde tresses. Look, I’m not saying she has to stroll round trying like Beetlejuice for the remainder of her life. It’s comprehensible to go away that look behind as she grows and evolves. But her assertion right here doesn’t sit fairly proper with me. By branding her hair change “womanly,” she’s making a extremely disconcerting assertion, intentional or in any other case. Blonde hair has a big connection to not solely femininity and sexual attraction, but in addition to magnificence requirements which can be steeped in whiteness. We have to recollect, or be known as to recollect, that phrases carry weight, and making such a press release, even when it’s solely in regard to herself, has sure implications, even when the intentions weren’t malicious.
Her remark might be one thing she didn’t even think about when she made it. But in an interview that spends a lot time taking down societal ideas of magnificence, it feels icky to guide with that assertion.
Obviously, Billie Eilish is allowed to decorate and put on her hair nevertheless she needs. She’s extremely conscious of the actual fact, and I like her power. It’s spectacular to see a 19-year-old who’s so okay with being like, “Fuck you, I’ll wear what I want.” That sort of confidence is tough to seek out whilst a grown-ass girl, and never one thing I may have completed proper out of highschool. But there are elements of this, together with all of the imagery, that makes it clear that she is barely 19, and holds some very age acceptable views over profession autonomy.
Is her change stunning? Absolutely. That’s why it really works so nicely. Is she an excellent function mannequin? Without a doubt. Though she doesn’t owe me, you, or anybody else a “good role model” instance. It might be fascinating to see how this new look evolves.