Singer Billie Eilish is only 18 years old and despite being relatively young, she's arguably the hottest pop star in the world right now. The musician's collaborations with brother Finneas O'Connell (who's a former Glee star and Grammy nominee) have dominated the music scene with sad-girl, moody tracks. Calling her rise to fame and fortune meteoric would be an understatement. But like so many omnipresent stars, Bllie's now under more scrutiny than ever — and her recent swimsuit post is proof of that.
There's a weird, unspoken phenomenon that happens whenever teenage stars, especially young women become "of age." There's tons of creepy posts from folks saying they "can't wait" till so-and-so turns 18. Drake has come under fire for befriending both Billie Eilish and Millie Bobby Brown. Millie's fellow Stranger Things star, Finn Wolfhard had some harsh criticism for model Ali Michael who asked Finn to call her when he turned 18, calling her comments "gross."
What's interesting about Billie Eilish is that she's eschewed typical pop-girl aesthetics by wearing baggy, loose-fitting clothing. It's hard to deny that she doesn't have a unique style that's already redefined clothing trends and spawned legions of imitators. But there's another reason why the singer chooses to wear more comfortable clothes: She wants to make sure that her body isn't the first thing people think of when her name is brought up.
Billie Eilish's swimsuit post on Instagram.
She's also very conscious of people's proclivity to body-shame, a phenomenon that she'd rather avoid entirely. There really isn't a better way to do that than wearing clothes that really don't give a clue as to the shape of your body.
But when you're on vacation in some tropical paradise, you're going to wear a swimsuit. And if you share photos of the wonderful time you're having in said tropical paradise, photos of you in said swimsuit will probably make their way online.
And because everyone and their mother has an opinion on what famous people look like at any given moment, there were throngs of individuals who didn't take too kindly to the fact that Billie "went back on her word" and became a "hypocrite" for wearing a bikini top.
On the other hand, she's been criticized for some time, even before she turned 18, for not dressing "feminine" enough.
What was Billie Eilish's response to criticism of her swimsuit pictures/videos?
In an interview with Dazed, the singer spoke out about the comments she received in response to her vacation swimsuit post: "I saw comments like, ‘How dare she talk about not wanting to be sexualized and wear this?!' It was trending. There were comments like, ‘I don’t like her anymore because as soon as she turns 18 she’s a whore.’ Like, dude. I can’t win. I can-not win."
In May 2019, Billie knew that people would body-shame her the first chance they got, which is why she's always wearing baggier clothing, something she talked about in an ad campaign for Calvin Klein: “Nobody can have an opinion [on my body]. because they haven’t seen what’s underneath. 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.’ No one can say any of that because they don’t know.”
Despite expressing clear exasperation over the bipolar reception to her swimsuit photos, Billie says that even though she knows she'll face criticism in the future if she decides to wear different clothing, she won't allow a few vocal folks online from influencing her stylistic choices: "If I wore a dress to something, I would be hated for it. People would be like, ‘You’ve changed, how dare you do what you’ve always rebelled against?’ I’m like, ‘I’m not rebelling against anything, really."
She continued, "I can’t stress it enough. I’m just wearing what I wanna wear. If there’s a day when I’m like, ‘You know what, I feel comfortable with my belly right now and I wanna show my belly,’ I should be allowed to do that."
Something tells us that folks will have something to say if she ever does decide to do that. But something also tells us that Billie's the type of person who could give a big middle finger to anyone who's got a problem with that.