Billie Eilish: ‘I don’t know what it feels like not to be a teenager’

Princess Charlotte is spotted on her first day of School in London!

Billie Eilish is one of the cover stars of Elle’s Women In Music issue. Do you want to feel absolutely ancient? Elle points this out in their intro: Billie is “the first number one artist born this millennium, and too young to have ever owned a CD.” I am so old. Anyway, like all of Billie’s magazine profiles these days, she’s A LOT. She’s still just 17 years old (18 in December) and she has all the angst, attitude and anxiety of any given teenager, and then some. One minute she’s the most confident person in the world, the next minute she’s a wreck who can’t be alone. This profile is a mess, but it’s glorious too. Billie just IS. Some highlights:

She just came back from another tour: “This was the first tour I enjoyed. That means I haven’t really enjoyed the rest of them… When there are a thousand people outside, nobody’s going through security; I don’t know that you’re all here for me, or for good things. It’s such a bummer.” She has security now, and the venues are bigger. She also brings friends on the road. “I need people. I’m a people person. For a while, I would be gone for months and wouldn’t see my friends. I’d come back, and they wouldn’t be friends with me anymore. That’s not their fault. You’re not gonna forget me, but you’re gonna forget what it felt like to love me. It sucked.”

Teen lyfe: “I don’t know what it feels like not to be a teenager. But kids know more than adults.”

Her parents didn’t push anything on her: “I’m lucky to have a family that I like, and that likes me. The only reason I do what I do is because my parents didn’t force me. If they’d said, ‘Here’s a guitar, here’s a microphone, sing and write,’ I would have been like, ‘Goodbye! I’m gonna go do drugs.’ You can’t get mad at kids, bro. People have some sh-tty families. I’m kinda shocked my parents are still together. I’m not at all trying to brag—I’m just trying to say, I feel for the people who don’t have a family that wants them to be happy in their lives.”

She’s not miserable anymore: “Two years ago, I felt like nothing mattered; every single thing was pointless. Not just in my life, but everything in the whole world. I was fully clinically depressed. It’s insane to look back and not be anymore,” she says. Some cynics have accused her of faking depression. “It hurt me to see that. I was a 16-year-old girl who was really unstable. I’m in the happiest place of my life, and I didn’t think that I would even make it to this age.”

How she covers up her body: Feminists theorize that she’s desexualizing herself; parents thank her for covering up because, in turn, so do their daughters. “You’re missing the point! The point is not: Hey, let’s go slut-shame all these girls for not dressing like Billie Eilish. It makes me mad. I have to wear a big shirt for you not to feel uncomfortable about my boobs!”

She has big boobs: “I was born with fucking boobs, bro. I was born with DNA that was gonna give me big-ass boobs.” She says her breasts have been an issue for as long as she can remember, which is why she covers them. “I was recently FaceTiming a close friend of mine who’s a dude, and I was wearing a tank top. He was like, ‘Ugh, put a shirt on!’ And I said, ‘I have a shirt on.’ Someone with smaller boobs could wear a tank top, and I could put on that exact tank top and get slut-shamed because my boobs are big. That is stupid. It’s the same shirt!”

Turning 18 soon: “I’m gonna be a woman. I wanna show my body. What if I wanna make a video where I wanna look desirable? Not a p-rno! But I know it would be a huge thing. I know people will say, ‘I’ve lost all respect for her.’ ”

[From Elle]

Speaking as a formerly angsty goth teen with big boobs, I just have to say… I probably would have been flat-out obsessed with Billie if I was 14 years old right now. And I even like how she explains her choice to cover up her body in oversized clothes – she’s doing it so other people are more comfortable. But let’s be real, even at 17, most girls aren’t comfortable with their bodies no matter what. Like Billie, I developed early too (I was a C-cup by 14) and I wore really baggy sh-t too because I didn’t want people to look at my body. Even now, I hate body-con sh-t.

Embed from Getty Images

Cover courtesy of Elle, additional photo courtesy of Getty.

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

30 Responses to “Billie Eilish: ‘I don’t know what it feels like not to be a teenager’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Lucy says:

    I love Billie! Please protect her at all costs.

  2. ME says:

    Baggy clothes are in style now though…it’s trendy to wear over-sized everything just like in the 90′s. I remember wearing baggy clothes in high school…everyone did.

    • Mumbles says:

      If there’s anything good to come from the VSCO Girl trend, it’s a return to baggy clothes. They’re so comfortable.

  3. Jillian says:

    I can’t imagine growing up in the Hollywood business especially these days. Maybe even be a kid. Society is so hard on teens with social media, etc.

    If Instagram or Twitter had happen during my high school years, I wouldn’t have made it out alive.

    There’s so much pressure these days. To have the perfect body and fit Society standards

  4. Renee says:

    I’m also extremely large breasted and developed early. I can also relate to what she says about being uncomfortable and wanting to cover up.

  5. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I love Billie! I am a 39 year old woman who was genuinely bummed when her concert tickets sold out and I couldn’t go. GENUINELY bummed. And yes her emotions are all over the place- she’s 18! So were mine at that age. But she understands herself better than most grown a$$ adults I know. And she is INSANELY talented. I often worry for her because she is so young and has had such success so quickly but her Mom tours with her and her brother is her producing partner so that gives me some optimism about it. Because most of the kids who get famous at that age dont have that kind of foundation and support.

  6. Slowsnow says:

    My 13 year old son adores her so I looked her up. I know it’s the tendency to adore her but she makes me think of all the edgy kids in my school that parents let grow up way too early. I’m not super impressed.
    However her answer about people’s reaction for covering up is spot on 👌🏼.

  7. MC2 says:

    She is amazing & her insight in her songs blows my mind.

  8. Mgsota says:

    Omg…can’t believe this is on Celebitchy this morning. I just saw her in concert last night in Tulsa with my 17 year old daughter. It was a great concert, I enjoyed it…of course my daughter LOVED IT!
    I was surprised to see how big her boobs really are. I had no idea. She was wearing a t-shirt that was probably a 3XL or larger.
    I had this conversation with my husband this morning, that she probably wears oversized things to cover up. To be 17, with larger boobs than your body size would suggest…in front of 20,000 people…I can only imagine. I was an overweight kid (Still am) and I remember being in high school hating to walk across the class room because I didn’t want people looking at me.
    She’s very talented and pretty and it’s hard to believe she’s only 17. I hope this industry/world doesn’t eat her up.

    • AmyB says:

      @Mgsota my daughter loves her too! We are seeing her in Philly next March. She is super talented and has an amazing voice. I too hope the industry doesn’t eat her up!

  9. Arizona says:

    Bless her heart with the “teens know more than adults” comment. Which is exactly the sort of thing that I would have said at her age.

    She is young and seems sweet. My stepdaughter really likes her. Bad Guy is a bop. That’s about all I’ve got.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Im 39. And she’s right. Just look at out current political and socio climate and who is at the forefront of demanding change. It ain’t the grown up.

  10. A says:

    I like her, she seems like a really typical teenager lmao. Kind of annoying, a seemingly know-it-all, trying way too hard to sound precocious etc. I can’t imagine getting famous at her age. There’s too much stuff I did and said and thought at the time that I would not want to be public, especially stuff like my writing or art. I didn’t think this when I was at that age though!

  11. Savannah says:

    She is to her generation what Avril Lavigne was to my generation. So edgy and outspoken lol

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Im of the Avril generation and I disagree. She’s more talented than Avril.

      • Aims says:

        Way more talented and she can sing.

      • Sof says:

        Yes, also, adults like listening to Billie. She is more universally liked than Avril (I blame the whole “punk princess who is not like other girls” persona her PR people tried to pull).

  12. Leriel says:

    When I was a teen, I was 2 sizes bigger than I am now and I had a C cup at 15 too, and I hated that, but, maybe because of fashion in a late 00s early 10s, maybe (and mostly) because we had strict dress code at school (formal style, no jeans, no bright colours) I’ve been wearing blouses with ‘decollete’ and different necklaces, which ended right upper in a middle where my boobs met. I did it all probably because I wanted to look grown, funny because right now I am 23 and size 2 and I don’t wear makeup, so people often mistake me as a teen.

    I don’t think that wearing tight, revealing clothes is some kind of ‘empowerment’, I understand where it’s going from, women’s bodies are objectified, it’s a taking back narrative, so people come at Billie saying that she has issues with her body because she hides it, but it’s clearly not true. But if the reason is true, she wears baggy clothes because “for you not to feel uncomfortable about my boobs!”, she’s right about objectification towards women, but it’s not the way to fight it. The way to end it is to stop teaching men to sexualise women in the way it is right now (or in any way, if you’d like). And how much it must be done for that, ugh.

  13. prettypersuasion says:

    I have a hunch that she will go through a ~sexy adult woman~ phase in her early 20s, like all the teenage pop stars eventually do. (I hope I’m wrong!)

    • otaku fairy.... says:

      Why shouldn’t she?

      • prettypersuasion says:

        idk, because it’s boring and predictable?

      • otaku fairy.... says:

        Fair enough. 😌 Although it can be just as awesome/interesting or boring/predictable as sticking to what’s considered classy. If she stays as open -minded as she is now, whichever choice she feels more comfortable or passionate about is fine, as long as it’s her choice.

  14. JanetFerber says:

    Wow, hella talented and young. Heard two songs of hers and love them both. Lourde was that young when she hit big, I think. The best to them both.

  15. margedebarge says:

    She has a lot of growing up to do but I really hope she isn’t a flash in the pan. She has a great deal of potential and I’m curious what kind of artist a 27-year-old Billie will be.

  16. little bird says:

    not sure what it says about me that as a 24 year old i Felt This but like,,, she reminds me a lot of myself at 18/19, and some of what she said still hits home as an adult, which is wild. she seems sweet, i hope the adults around her are looking out for her.

  17. otaku fairy.... says:

    It sucks that people accused her of lying about her depression for attention. While some of that may have just been cynicism, it would not be surprising if some of that response was routed in sexism. Especially if liberals who have been super empathetic about the struggles of young guys in the LGBT movement were doing it.
    Everything she has to say about covering up for now to avoid misogynistic abuse, not wanting other people to use her modesty to slut-shame other girls or women, and how she might change her mind about how she dressed later is spot-on. She has a nice voice too.

  18. Starkiller says:


  19. Naddie says:

    Popular opinion: she is talented af.
    Unpopular opinion: can’t stand her.

  20. Ash says:

    Please explain the VSCO thing!!! I don’t get it! I looked it up bc my 9 year old is obsessed and now I really don’t get it?!? What is one? What do they do? Is it kinda like saying “I’m a valley girl”? What is a vsco? To be one I need scrunchies, Mario Badescu skincare???, a water bottle and Vans? Help!!!!😩😩😩