“Since I was a kid, my dad and I have always talked about a certain type of person who’s so insecure, or hyperaware, and self-conscious, that they never move in a weird way, or make a weird face, because they always want to look good… It’s such a loss to always try to always look good. It’s such a loss of joy and freedom in your body,” Eilish tells The Guardian in a lengthy new profile.
The tension between living in a real body and wanting to look great all the time is a topic she’s obviously thought a lot about; it’s even on the new album. “[The song] ‘OverHeated’ applies to all the people who promote unattainable body standards,” she revealed, explaining, “It’s completely fine to get work done–do this, do that, do what makes you feel happy. It’s just when you deny it and say, ‘Oh, I got this all on my own, and if you just tried harder, you could get it.’ That makes me literally furious. It is so bad for young women–and boys, too–to see that.”
The pressure to look “perfect” gets to Eilish, too, who admitted, “I see people online, looking like I’ve never looked…And immediately I am like, oh my God, how do they look like that? I know the ins and outs of this industry, and what people actually use in photos, and I actually know what looks real can be fake. Yet I still see it and go, oh God, that makes me feel really bad. And I mean, I’m very confident in who I am, and I’m very happy with my life… I’m obviously not happy with my body.” But before you pity her, Eilish seems to have a pretty realistic attitude about the issue of body image, asking “But who is [happy with their body]?”
Her coping mechanism is simply to focus on the music while performing. “When I’m on stage, I have to disassociate from the ideas I have of my body,” she said. “I have such a terrible relationship with my body, like you would not believe, so I just have to disassociate… Then you get a paparazzi picture taken when you were running to the door and had just put anything on, and didn’t know the picture’s being taken, and you just look how you look, and everyone’s like, ‘Fat!’”
Despite it all, Billie Eilish does have some perspective, declaring, “We only need bodies to eat and walk around and poop. We only need them to survive. It’s ridiculous that anybody even cares about bodies at all. Like, why? Why do we care? You know, when you really think about it?”