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CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses disordered eating, self harm and mental health.

In late 2020, our lord and saviour Billie Eilish dared to duck outside wearing a singlet and shorts and was captured mid-stride by the ever-present Los Angeles paparazzi.

The pics were sold to tabloids and ended up online, and of course a bunch of vile dickheads hiding behind their computer monitors decided this gave them license to weigh in on Eilish’s body. No doubt while sporting rigs reminiscent of the Duke from Bridgerton, I’m sure.

Um, fuck off?

Sure, some people also commented things like “she looks great”, but whether or not the comments were positive or negative, it’s still using a photograph as permission to objectify a woman, which sucks regardless. Not to mention it’s the very notion Billie Eilish fights against by dressing in baggy clothes, forcing people to focus on her music (or slime green locks) instead of her body.

In an interview with Vanity Fair — of which she graces the cover this month, nbd — 18-year-old Eilish has spoken out about the photos and the accompanying online commentary surrounding them. She explains that her loved ones were more concerned about the pics than she was, “because the reason I used to cut myself was because of my body.”

She adds that she is actually thankful that the whole shitshow happened now, rather than at that time when she was more vulnerable. “I was really, really glad though, mainly, that I’m in this place in my life, because if that had happened three years ago, when I was in the midst of my horrible body relationship, or [when I was] dancing a tonne, five years ago, I wasn’t really eating.”

“I was, like, starving myself. I remember taking a pill that told me that it would make me lose weight and it only made me pee the bed – when I was 12. It’s just crazy.”

Of the Twitter body shamers, she says: “I thought that I would be the only one dealing with my hatred for my body, but I guess the internet also hates my body. So that’s great.”

It’s not the first time Billie Eilish has copped body-related heat online. When she dared to wear a one piece swimsuit in Hawaii and also own breasts, trolls said she was asking to be objectified. She said to Dazed at the time: ““I saw comments like, ‘How dare she talk about not wanting to be sexualized and wear this?! It was trending. There were comments like, ‘I don’t like her anymore because as soon as she turns 18 she’s a whore.’ Like, dude. I can’t win.”

Props to Billie for being secure enough to block out the noise and keep being her. And honestly, who can blame the gal for wearing the baggiest of tracksuits when this is the shit she deals with on a daily basis. We must protect Billie at all costs!

Help is available.

If you’d like to talk about eating disorders or body image issues, give Butterfly Foundation a call on 1800 33 4673 or chat online.

If you are in distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online. 

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.