Billie Eilish’s British Vogue shoot sparks controversy

Photo Courtesy of MTV International, Wikimedia Commons

By Emily Garcia

19-year-old singer songwriter Billie Eilish was recently featured on the front cover of British Vogue. The photoshoot immediately went viral on Instagram and other social media platforms, ranking the fastest post to hit 1 million likes in five minutes, as well as having six posts in the top 20 most liked pictures. She was seen dressed up in vintage latex lingerie, showing off her confidence. Although many people supported and loved the shoot, lots of controversy arose to the surface in regards to her outfit. 

Eilish has been in the public eye since she was 13. Aside from being known for her popular music and kind-hearted personality, she was also known for her baggy clothes, dyed hair and lack of makeup, a conscious choice made in order to have the focus of her career be on her talent, not her body.

“I wear big, baggy clothes so nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath,” Eilish said in a 2019 ad for Calvin Klein. 

The media can be a very critical place for young women. They are exposed to all sorts of backlash and judgment, especially because they are seen from a bigger platform. 

Eilish’s fans idolize her as a good role model for being body positive, knowing that she has struggled with depression because of it. 

Although as a musician, she should be able to make music her number one priority, she also has to deal with the public eye on her as a woman as well. She speaks on her emotions through her music and leaves us with breathtaking songs that are personal to her. Yet, so much focus is put on her body, where she is either sexualized and/or criticized for it.

Eilish has spent all of her teenage years in the spotlight, so it makes sense that she would want to change her look and experiment with her style. The mindset of a 13 year old, as she was when she released “Ocean Eyes” and a 19 year old as she is in the Vogue cover are very different.

There is always room for growth and change. The feeling of meeting everyone’s expectations can wear a person down mentally, especially as a child. It is sad and disappointing to see others call her a hypocrite for wanting to change her style. Becoming confident in herself shouldn’t change who she is, an amazing musician. 

Many girls and young women look up to her as powerful and courageous, and her Vogue shoot only cemented that view.