Singer Billie Eilish is famously careful with her body, making a conscious decision very early on in her career to wear oversized, baggy clothing in order to prevent it being used as a tool to either sexualise or shame her – because, let’s face it, that’s what the female body is generally reduced to in our society, and she knows it. “I never want the world to know everything about me,” she explained in 2019 in a Calvin Klein campaign. “I mean, that’s why I wear big, baggy clothes: Nobody can have an opinion, because they haven't seen what’s underneath.”
credit: third party image reference
It’s sad that this is something the 18-year-old has to even consider, but here we are. So, she adopts this approach, and covers up. It works, in theory, right? Except that the moment she wears anything even slightly fitted, it becomes a hot topic the world over. Keeping her body under wraps has backfired; it has cultivated a hunger from our image-obsessed culture to see – to demand to see - what’s underneath.
She was out walking, this week, when a paparazzo snapped some photos of her wearing a fitted vest top. She looked good – great, even; there isn’t much to discuss on that front. But the photos very quickly did the rounds, and a man on Twitter decided to use the opportunity to body shame her. “In 10 months Billie Eilish has developed a mid-30s wine mom body,” he wrote.credit: third party image reference
The sheer amount of people who liked the tweet – nine thousand – and retweeted it – 936, at the time of writing – goes some way to demonstrate how much society enjoys partaking in the casual shaming of a woman’s body.It doesn’t stop there – Cardi B made the news this week for clapping back to a man who commented on the size of her areolas (yes, seriously) after she accidentally posted a nude photo to her Instagram stories.