Billie Eilish is opening up about the complicated feelings she had about her body as a teenager.
During a recent interview with Vogue for its first-ever video cover, Eilish spoke about her relationship with her body and what it took for her to work through the negativity associated with it. She explained that years of injuries left her in a lot of pain and hatred toward her body.
Prior to breaking into the music industry with the 2015 release of “Ocean Eyes,” Eilish had aspirations of being a dancer. Unfortunately, an injury to her growth plate at the age of 13 forced her to reevaluate her dreams and find a new passion.
“Going through my teenage years of hating myself and all that stupid s–t, a lot of it came from my anger toward my body and how mad I was at how much pain it’s caused me and how much I’ve lost because of things that happened to it,” Eilish said. “I got injured right after we made ‘Ocean Eyes,’ so music kind of replaced dancing.”
“I felt like my body was gaslighting me for years,” she said. “I had to go through a process of being like, my body is actually me. And it’s not out to get me.”
Eilish was eventually diagnosed with hypermobility, a syndrome in which an individual has overly flexible joints, causing them to bend more than they should, which can be painful.
During the interview, Eilish’s mother, Maggie Baird, gave further insight into her diagnosis, saying that “stuff that you and I could do that would help us, like certain kinds of massage or chiropractors, could actually hurt her.”
This isn’t the first time the “Bad Guy” singer has spoken about her body, as her style and body image issues have continued to be a topic of interest.
In August 2021, she told The Guardian that she has a “terrible relationship with (her) body” and that she has to “disassociate from the ideas (she has) of (her) body” during performances because otherwise her performance would be affected.
“I wear clothes that are bigger and easier to move in without showing everything — they can be really unflattering,” she said. “In pictures, they look like I don’t even know what. I just completely separate the two. Because I have such a terrible relationship with my body like you would not believe, so I just have to disassociate.”
She also admitted that she doesn’t understand why society is obsessed with bodies, be it their own or that of others. During a campaign for Calvin Klein in 2019, the singer further discussed the issue, saying society’s obsession with bodies is the inspiration behind her public image. In the video, she said the baggy clothes make it so “nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath.”
The obsession with her body in particular had a profound impact on her style. She told Elle Magazine in 2019 that as a woman with a bigger chest, she feels more harshly judged when wearing a top that might show a bit of cleavage. She referenced a time when someone took a photo of her in a tank top after she stepped out of her tour bus, saying, “My boobs were trending on Twitter. … Every outlet wrote about my boobs.”
“I was born with f—ing boobs, bro. I was born with DNA that was going to give me big-a– boobs. I was recently FaceTiming a close friend of mine who’s a dude, and I was wearing a tank top. He was like, ‘Ugh, put a shirt on.’ And I said, ‘I have a shirt on,’” she told the outlet. “Someone with smaller boobs could wear a tank top, and I could put on that exact tank top and get slut-shamed because my boobs are big. That is stupid. It’s the same shirt.”