Billie Eilish, the breakout 17-year-old pop star, is beginning to experience life in the limelight. Though there are many positives to fame, attempting to be a normal teenager while under the constant scrutiny of media and fans sounds excruciating. An easy example of this is the “Bad Guy” singer’s style — Eilish is almost exclusively seen wearing baggy clothing with multiple layers.
Her outfits have been the inspiration for some pretty funny memes, but there’s a reason behind the getup. The singer recently told Vogue Australia her outfits purposefully conceal her body so that the media can’t body shame her.
“What I like about just dressing like I’m 800 sizes bigger than I am is it kind of gives nobody the opportunity to judge what your body looks like,” said Eilish. “I don’t want to give anyone the excuse of judging, and not—and it’s not like everyone’s going to judge you, but they all do in their head, like even if they’re not trying to.”
Nearly all women in the media know what it’s like to have their bodies negatively discussed, from Cardi B and her “swollen ankles” to Rihanna’s weight gain. “I want layers and layers and layers. And I want to be mysterious. You don’t know what’s underneath, and you don’t know what’s on top,” said Eilish.
Eilish said she found inspiration through Rihanna. “I remember seeing an acceptance speech Rihanna gave where she said fashion has always been her defense mechanism. And I felt like I never felt something as strongly hearing someone else say it than I did when I heard her say that because it’s always been that way for me. It’s always been my security blanket.”
This isn’t the first time Eilish has spoke about her active avoidance of body shaming. She previously spoke about the utility of her baggy clothes in a Calvin Klein ad. “I never want the world to know everything about me. I mean, that’s why I wear big baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion 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.”