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Billie Eilish Reflected On That Viral Paparazzi Pic And Her Past "Horrible" Relationship With Her Body

"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."

Posted on January 26, 2021, at 6:48 a.m. ET

Back in October, a paparazzi photo of then-18-year-old Billie Eilish went viral, simply because she was wearing a tank top.

Jim Dyson / Redferns

The photo caused a huge discussion online, because it showed Billie wearing significantly more form-fitting clothes than she usually does in public.

The "Bad Guy" singer has explained in the past that she wears oversize clothes intentionally so people can't see and have opinions on her body.

"I never want the world to know everything about me," Billie said in an interview with Calvin Klein in 2019. "I mean, that's why I wear big baggy clothes: Nobody can have an opinion, because they haven't seen what's underneath."

She later reiterated her comments in an interview with Vogue Australia, explaining: "I want layers and layers and layers and I want to be mysterious. You don't know what's underneath and you don't know what's on top. I don't want to give anyone the excuse of judging."

It was something Billie addressed explicitly during last year's Where Do We Go? tour. A short film played onscreen during the concert, showing Billie removing her oversize clothes while speaking directly to body-shamers.

"Some people hate what I wear," Billie says in a voiceover. "Some people praise it. Some people use it to shame others. Some people use it to shame me. But I feel you watching, always, and nothing I do goes unseen."

David Crotty / Getty Images

The video goes on: "Would you like me to be smaller? Weaker? Softer? Taller? Would you like me to be quiet? Do my shoulders provoke you? Does my chest? Am I my stomach? My hips? The body I was born with, is it not what you wanted?"

"If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman," Billie says. "If I shed the layers, I am a slut. Though you've never seen my body, you still judge it and judge me for it."

At the time the photo was published, Billie simply brushed it off. When asked about it during an Instagram Q&A, she claimed she "had no idea" what the fan was referring to.

But during a new interview for the March cover of Vanity Fair, Billie spoke a little more in depth about the incident, admitting she was glad it hadn't happened when her relationship with her body was at its worst.

Quil Lemons for Vanity Fair

"I think that the people around me were more worried about it than I was, because the reason I used to cut myself was because of my body," Billie told the magazine.

David Livingston / Getty Images

"I was really, really glad though, mainly, that I'm in this place in my life," she continued.

"If that had happened three years ago, when I was in the midst of my horrible body relationship — or dancing a ton, five years ago," Billie went on. "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," she said. "It's just crazy."

"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," Billie added. "So that's great."

In another interview with Vanity Fair in December, Billie said one of her biggest goals is helping young people feel comfortable in their own skin.

Vanity Fair / youtube.com

"I love having kids relate to me and tell me that I make them feel comfortable in their bodies," Billie said.

"If I can do anything, I want to do that."

Read Billie Eilish's Vanity Fair cover story in full here.

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