Billie Eilish is known for her signature style, which typically involves oversized tracksuits, jerseys, and baggy dresses. But after being caught by paparazzi out this week while wearing a slim tank top and baggy shorts, the 18-year-old became the target of an online troll.
As Heeley’s tweet began to go viral, it was also predictably ratio’d, as users jumped on an adult man for body-shaming a teenage girl. Some people doxxed Heeley, while others responded with memes or evoked the South Park computer nerd character.
Fans of Eilish’s also quickly jumped into the fray to lend their support to the Bad Guy singer, and also to remind men like Heeley what an actual woman’s body looks like.
“Billie Eilish is beautiful!” wrote one user. “PLEASE, do not body shame her, or anyone for that matter. Body shaming is not ‘news’ or ‘gossip’ it’s HARMFUL and UNACCEPTABLE.”
Others likewise had similar thoughts.
Eilish has, in the past, been candid about the way she dresses the way she does. “Sometimes I dress like a boy. Sometimes I dress like a swaggy girl,” she told British GQ earlier this year. “And sometimes I feel trapped by this persona that I have created because sometimes I think people view me not as a woman.”
She has also explored her body image in a short film called NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY, which was originally produced for her live tour.
“Do you know me? Really know me? You have opinions about my opinions. About my music. About my clothes. About my body,” she says in the video, in which she gradually peels off layers of clothing. “Some people hate what I wear, some people praise it. Some people use it to save others, some people use it to shame me.”
“But I feel you watching. Always,” she continues. “And nothing I do goes unseen, so while I feel your stares, your disapproval or your sigh 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 I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman.”
“Or,” she concludes the film,” “Is your opinion of me, not my responsibility?”
If nothing else, this entire incident now seems to prove that the answer to the question is resoundingly clear. It’s not her responsibility, nor is it the responsibility of any woman.