Billie Eilish has spoken candidly about the reactions from fans to her changing style, with the singer revealing that she lost thousands of social media followers “just because of the boobs”.
The 19-year-old, who recently attended the 2021 Met Gala in a Oscar de la Renta ball gown, and who revealed that she used to wear dresses every day before body image struggles “tore that s*** down,” discussed her new aesthetic during an interview with Elle for the magazine’s October cover story.
While speaking with the outlet about the public’s reaction to her recent style choices, which included a pinup-style photo shoot for British Vogue and selfies in a corset, Eilish revealed that many fans have been uncomfortable with her changing look.
“People hold on to these memories and have an attachment. But it’s very dehumanising,” the pop star said. “I lost 100,000 followers, just because of the boobs. People are scared of big boobs.”
According to Eilish, the dismayed reactions from fans occur even when she wears something as simple as a tank top rather than the oversized clothes that previously made up her signature style.
“The other day, I decided to wear a tank top. It wasn’t even a provocative shirt. But I know people are going to say: ‘Holy f***, she’s dressing sexy and trying to make a statement.’ And I’m like: ‘No, I’m not. It’s 500 degrees and I just want to wear a tank top,’” the Grammy winner recalled.
Madonna defended the singer, with the pop star acknowledging the double standard before stating that women should be able to “portray themselves in any way they want”.
“If Billie were a man, no one would be writing about this. A man can show up dressed in a suit and tie for the first three years of his career, and then the next month he could be dressed like Prince or Mick Jagger, shirt off, wearing eyeliner, and no one would say a word,” the Like A Prayer singer said.
During the cover interview, the singer, who recently debuted a new blonde hairstyle after years of sporting a fluorescent green colour, also explained her decision to change her hair, revealing that she “wanted anonymity” but that she is still the same person.
“I couldn’t go anywhere with that hair because it was so obviously me. I wanted anonymity,” she said, before acknowledging that she had also just wanted a change.
However, despite wanting to change her appearance, Eilish noted that she hadn’t wanted the colour to impact how fans thought of her.
“I had no goal of ‘This is going to make everybody think differently of me.’ I’ve had different-colored hair and vibes for everything I’ve ever done. I wanted this album to have its own thing,” she explained, referring to her album Happier Than Ever.
While Eilish said her intention hadn’t been to alter the public’s perception, she told the outlet that fans still took it as the singer changing from the old her.
“The other day, I posted a video from when I had green hair, and I saw people go: ‘I miss this Billie, the green-haired Billie,’” Eilish said. “I’m still the same person. I’m not just different Barbies with different heads.”
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