For as long as Billie Eilish has held her throne atop Gen Z’s pop hierarchy, she’s been criticized for her appearance: her style most regularly includes monochromatic men’s designer duds and oversized streetwear. Apparently, that’s enough to inspire thinkpieces about what her fashion means. In the past, Eilish has said that her fashion choices allow her to retain mystery free of judgment. Of course, that hasn’t actually been the case—the public is infatuated with what Billie’s body must look like, and so she’s chosen to turn that into poetry.
In a video interlude shown during her current world tour, which kicked off Monday night in Miami, Eilish is seen partially obscured while removing her top and reciting a monologue about body image. “If what I wear is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I am a slut,” she says in the clip, the BBC reports. “Though you’ve never seen my body, you still judge me for it. Why?” Eventually, she descends into tar.
Here’s the speech in full, via The Guardian:
Do you really know me?
You have opinions about my opinions, about my music, about my clothes, about my body.
Some people hate what I wear, 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.
So while I feel your stares, your disapproval or your sighs of relief, if I lived by them, I’d never be able to move.
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 what I wear is comfortable, I am not a woman. 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. Why?
You make assumptions about people based on their size. We decide who they are. We decide what they’re worth.
If I wear more, if I wear less, who decides what that makes me? What that means?
Is my value based only on your perception?
Or is your opinion of me not my responsibility?