Billie Eilish can’t seem to win. She’s been criticized for not dressing “feminine” enough, although a lot of her fans see her body-obscuring fashion choices as liberating. Eilish has been able to get elite fashion houses like Chanel and Gucci to create bespoke outfits just for her performances because she commands enough power and confidence to refuse traditional female pop star costuming.
However, Eilish has also said her oversized clothing choices hide her from the superficial critical gaze of the world. “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,'” Eilish said. “No one can say any of that because they don’t know.”
So, when the 18-year-old recently shared photos of her trip to Hawaii—including those in which she wears a bathing suit—folks lost their collective minds. Imagine! Going to Hawaii and wearing a bathing suit. It’s almost like there’s a lot of swimming and water activities to do there or something!
Eilish shared what looks like an incredible vacation on her Instagram account. There’s ziplining and sunsets and swimming and rainbows—Hawaii at its most beautiful and Eilish enjoying it.
“It was trending,” Eilish said of her bathing suit picture. “There were comments like, ‘I don’t like her any more because as soon as she turns 18 she’s a whore.’ Like, dude. I can’t win. I can-not win.”
“If I wore a dress to something, I would be hated for it,” she added. “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.’ I can’t stress it enough. I’m just wearing what I wanna wear.”
Fellow celeb Emily Ratajkowski stood up for Eilish on Twitter. “Another example of how women can’t win. However they present themselves-covered up or sexualized-will always be criticized. Until patriarchal power structures are dismantled women will never be truly empowered. In the meantime, DRESS HOWEVER U WANT,” the actress and model said.
Eilish also revealed that she had become so disassociated from her body she literally forgot what it looked like at one point:
“There was a point last year where I was naked and I didn’t recognise my body ’cos I hadn’t seen it in a while,” she says. “I would see it sometimes and be like, ‘Whose body is that?'”
Body shaming is never a good look, so let’s just leave folks alone to wear what makes them comfortable. Even if it’s something as scandalous and outlandish as a bathing suit in Hawaii.