Billie Eilish: “I feel like my body was gaslighting me for years”

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish has opened up about her struggles as a teenager, saying that she felt like her body was “gaslighting” her for years.

The 21-year-old pop star has spoken about body image on numerous occasions in the past. Back in 2020 she delivered a powerful statement onstage in Miami, and later explained how it was “such a loss to always try to look good”.

During a new interview with Vogue, Eilish talked about a hip injury she sustained when she was 13 years old.

The setback led to years of subsequent lower body injuries before she was diagnosed with hypermobility – a condition that causes joint issues, and in some cases stiffness and pain.

“Going through my teenage years of hating myself and all that stupid shit,” the ‘Happier Than Ever’ singer told the publication, “a lot of it came from my anger toward my body, and how mad I was at how much pain it’s caused me, and how much I’ve lost because of things that happened to it.”

Eilish continued: “I felt like my body was gaslighting me for years. I had to go through a process of being like, my body is actually me. And it’s not out to get me.”

Recalling the timing of her hip injury, the Los Angeles artist explained: “I got injured right after we made [2015 debut single] ‘Ocean Eyes’, so, music kind of replaced dancing.”

Billie Eilish at Glastonbury Festival
Billie Eilish at Glastonbury Festival 2022. CREDIT: Matthew Baker/Redferns

In 2019, Eilish said that her hip injury resulted in her suffering a bout of depression as a young teen.

“It sent me down a hole,” she recalled at the time. “I went through a whole self-harming phase – we don’t have to go into it. But the gist of it was, I felt like I deserved to be in pain.”

Her dance classes also triggered insecurities and confidence issues, with the singer explaining how she was uncomfortable wearing “really tiny clothes” when taking part in the lessons.

She previously distanced herself from those who celebrated her “total lack of sexualisation” earlier in her career as a way of bringing down other women: “Positive [comments] about how I dress have this slut-shaming element.”

In 2021, Eilish hit back at an article that accused her of “selling out” during a Vogue cover shoot in which she debuted a new look. The singer had previously only worn baggy clothes, a decision she explained in a 2019 ad campaign for Calvin Klein.

“Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath,” she said. “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.’ No one can say any of that because they don’t know.”

In other news, Billie Eilish was recently confirmed as one of the headliners for Reading & Leeds 2023. She’ll join Lewis CapaldiFoalsThe KillersSam Fender and Imagine Dragons at the top of the bill in August.

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