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Billie Eilish Said She Was "Really Offended" By People Praising That Viral Tank Top Photo

"They put it on such a high pedestal that then it's even worse."

Posted on May 4, 2021, at 6:54 a.m. ET

You probably know by now that Billie Eilish is British Vogue's latest cover star. After all, it's fair to say that the photos of her rocking a brand-new look kind of broke the internet.

British Vogue

It was revealed in the accompanying interview that the photo shoot was all Billie's idea, with the 19-year-old explaining: "I've literally never done anything in this realm at all. Y'know, besides when I'm alone and shit."

"I love these pictures and I loved doing this shoot," Billie wrote on Instagram when she unveiled the photos. "Do whatever you want whenever you want. Fuck everything else."

She also told Vogue she chose to wear a corset because she's insecure about her stomach — and preemptively responded to any backlash she may receive for the decision.

Predicting that people may question why she's wearing a corset if she preaches "body positivity," Billie said: "It's all about what makes you feel good. If you want to get surgery, go get surgery. If you want to wear a dress that somebody thinks that you look too big wearing, fuck it — if you feel like you look good, you look good."

It's no surprise that Billie would anticipate backlash over her new look — after all, she is used to her body being the subject of public conversation.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Last October, a paparazzi photo of the "Bad Guy" singer wearing a tank top went viral, simply because the world wasn't used to seeing her in form-fitting clothes.

Prior to the photo hitting the internet, Billie had explained that she intentionally chose to wear clothing — in her own words — "800 sizes bigger than she is" so that people couldn't see and have opinions on her body.

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

The photo — and the conversation surrounding it — was something Billie addressed in an interview with Vanity Fair in January, admitting she was glad it hadn't happened when her relationship with her body was at its worst.

Vanity Fair

"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 told the magazine. "I wasn't really eating. I was, like, starving myself."

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

But Billie expanded on her feelings during her British Vogue interview, explaining that it wasn't just the criticism of her body that bothered her — in fact, the praise she received "really offended" her.

"It made me really offended when people were like, 'Good for her for feeling comfortable in her bigger skin,'" Billie said. "Jesus Christ?! Good for me? Fuck off!"

Koury Angelo / Getty Images for Apple

"The more the internet and the world care about somebody that's doing something they're not used to, they put it on such a high pedestal that then it's even worse," she said.

Read Billie's cover interview with British Vogue here.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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