Billie Eilish remarks, “Navigating womanhood is a constant challenge, particularly in the perception of society, especially as a young woman. It’s truly unfair.”
When I arrive at her L.A. studio, Eilish is playing her acoustic guitar, creating a soothing melody. She’s so down-to-earth that it’s easy to forget she had seven Grammys and an Oscar before turning the age most people celebrate success with a champagne glass.
She says, “It dawned on me that I’m stepping into the initial phases of life, armed with countless chances to stir up some excitement.” “Maybe, owing to the accelerated pace of my past, I forgot that I’m still quite young.
I failed to acknowledge the fact that I’m still quite young.” I’ve been living a lifestyle heavily influenced by the ’70s, but a recent realization has caused me to reevaluate. that such a retro approach is unnecessary for my present life.
21-year-old Eilish tasted fame at the age of 13 with her breakthrough track “Ocean Eyes,” a bedroom recording with her older brother, Finneas, that went viral on SoundCloud.
As her career skyrocketed, she found herself navigating adolescence under the scrutiny of all.
She immediately presented herself with a persona filled with contradictions: a whispering, slow voice discussing murdering her friends, setting a car on fire, and leaving a possessive lover on his birthday.
With her distinct style of baggy, neon clothes, captivating blue eyes, and a terrifying demeanor (a tarantula crawling out of her mouth was shown in an early music video), she quickly became a name on everyone’s lips in the music industry.
As she looks back on the “strange and unsettling” examination she encountered during her formative years, tears well up in her eyes. Who was she dating? What was her sexuality? Why did she wear those clothes? Even more sinister critics questioned if she secretly worshipped the devil. (She didn’t.)
Still, Eilish views her early success with pride. When her mega-hit “Bad Guy” reached number one in 2019, she thought she had truly found happiness.
She says, “Although all of this was external validation.” Sometime last year, it struck me:
‘I should seek aspects within myself and my private life that are entirely detached from the external world, the internet, or my position—things that genuinely bring me joy.‘
So, she did just that, propelling herself to new creative heights outside her comfort zone with several projects.
Examples include boosting the Oscars buzz for the original song “What Was I Made For?
With optimism, she declares, “I live in a positive world.”
“It seems as though I’m evolving into someone I authentically adore, engaging in endeavors that genuinely fill me with pride.” It seems like I’m experiencing a significant epiphany in several aspects of my life.
When Eilish first sees me, her famous blue eyes immediately lock onto the shiny pink box of plant-based non-profit aid and feed accompanying our Women of Power feature, so bringing Opting for vegan pastries from a nearby bakery felt like the perfect choice.
“Oh my God, we’re eating these,” she says, tearing open the box as her mom, Maggie Baird, snaps a quick photo of the spread.
I position myself on the opposite end of the spacious coffee table, directly in front of Billie Eilish. “You’re too far! “Join me right here,” she motions, and in an instant, we’re seated cross-legged on the sofa, enveloped in the aroma of applesauce.
She’s never conformed to the usual girl stereotype. In truth, she has long held the belief that most girls don’t find her appealing.
Eilish expresses, “I’ve never truly sensed a strong connection with other girls. I love them deeply. I love people. I’m physically attracted to them. But I’m really scared of them and intimidated by their beauty and their presence.”
When delving into her life, she openly discusses the hurdles of navigating womanhood under the spotlight, not shying away from the complexities. For an artist selling out stadiums in a different era, the need for navigating these revelations about her career impact will be crucial.
She expresses, “Throughout my journey, I’ve formed profound connections with women, friends, and family in various aspects of my life.” I’m attracted to them physically. But I’m really scared and intimidated by their beauty and their presence.”
Following the unveiling of her track “Barbie” in July, she has recently set in motion a transformation in her outlook on femininity and womanhood.
In a highly emotional piano piece featured in Warner Bros.’ blockbuster film, she mentors Margot Robbie’s Barbie on the emotional climax of femininity and womanhood. The scenario sparked a heartwarming TikTok trend, with more than 1.3 million users crafting video collages to reminisce about their childhood adventures.
Eilish remarks, “It was so emotional, friend. It was so, so touching. I feel like I helped bring people together, and that felt very special. I didn’t expect women from all around the world to feel a connection.”
In the official music video, directed by the singer herself, Eilish faces earthquakes, wind, and heavy rain as she opens a small box with miniature versions of her most iconic looks—mostly oversized T-shirts and sweatpants. Her signature style earned praise, attention, and even mockery, along with unexpected controversies. She explains, “My intention wasn’t to avoid being objectified.”
But I didn’t want people to reach my body, even visually. I wasn’t strong or safe enough to show it. If I had shown it at that time, I would have completely broken.”
She takes a deep breath.
Perhaps my indifference to sexuality stems from never experiencing a sense of being desired or desirable. I’ve never felt desirable to anyone.
I’ve never felt sexy. I have to convince myself that I’m like a beautiful girl. I identify as ‘she/her’ and all of that, but I’ve never really felt like a girl.”