WRITTEN BY: CECILIE BREE WILKINS
Pop superstar, and multi Grammy winner, Billie Eilish, did a cover and an interview for Vogue diving into the upbringing, of she and her brother and musical counterpart, Finneas O’Connell. Eilish also details her transition into the public eye as a teenager.
Eilish is currently facing controversy on social media after a quote from her Vogue story went viral. The singer appeared to be taking shots at Hip-Hop culture while being heavily influenced by it’s aesthetics, which many took offense to. The context, however was more complicated.
Eilish has become known for her dark lyrics and dark visuals within her music videos. While some of her content reflects her battle with depression, she explained in her Vogue interview that often the perspective she and her brother write from is a character they have cultivated.
“Just because the story isn’t real doesn’t mean it can’t be important,” she explained to Vogue. “There’s a difference between lying in a song and writing a story. There are tons of songs where people are just lying. There’s a lot of that in rap right now, from people that I know who rap. It’s like, ‘I got my AK-47, and I’m f*****’ . . .’ and I’m like, what? You don’t have a gun. ‘And all my bitches. . . .’ I’m like, which bitches? That’s posturing, and that’s not what I’m doing.”
Eilish is used to the constant public opinions though, stating, “this whole time I’ve been getting this one sentence,” Eilish says, “like, I’m a rule-breaker. Or I’m anti-pop, or whatever. I’m flattered that people think that, but it’s like, where, though? What rule did I break? The rule about making classic pop music and dressing like a girly girl? I never said I’m not going to do that. I just didn’t do it.”
While Eilish and O’Connell grew up in what they describe as a loving and happy household, their upbringing was not necessarily conventional. The two were both home schooled, but they utilized that time together to focus on music.
Despite her grounded roots, Eilish could not have been prepared for the difficulties of life in the public eye. Referring to the widely known public breakdown of Britney Spears, Eilish said, “the bigger I get, the more I’m like, Oh, my God, of course they had to do that. In my dark places I’ve worried that I was going to become the stereotype that everybody thinks every young artist becomes, because how can they not? Last year, when I was at my lowest point during the tour in Europe, I was worried I was going to have a breakdown and shave my head.”
Eilish states that now she is in a better place. She keeps her family close, and the toxicity of her industry as far as she can.
Her issues with public commentary on her body lead her to cultivate a style of overly baggy clothing which some love and some hate.
She explained, “it’s funny, because when you’re a little kid, you don’t think of your body at all. And all of a sudden, you look down and you’re, like, whoa. What can I do to make this go away?”
Eilish isn’t going to stop being herself and navigating her career in the ways that make her feel most comfortable, which to some is the most rebellious act a young woman in the public eye could perform.
“Maybe people see me as a rule-breaker because they themselves feel like they have to follow rules, and here I am not doing it,” she goes on. “That’s great, if I can make someone feel more free to do what they actually want to do instead of what they are expected to do. But for me, I never realized that I was expected to do anything. I guess that’s what is actually going on—that I never knew there was a thing I had to follow. Nobody told me that shit, so I did what I wanted.”
Photo Source: Vogue