Billie Eilish goes full-on blonde-bombshell pin-up for a British Vogue editorial

Edward Enninful

It’s a new era for Billie Eilish across the board. She no longer has the black-and-green hair and it looks like the baggy skaterboi clothes will be gone as well. It’s a new era for her interviews too, which is such a relief. For the past two years, every interview with Billie was the same, containing the same information and very similar quotes and I’m really hope we’re beyond all of that. She’s 19 years old now. She’s blonde and experimenting with her look, which is how we got this British Vogue editorial. I never thought I’d see her go “lingerie-clad blonde bombshell” in an editorial, but she’s absolutely killing it. You can read the full British Vogue interview here. Some highlights:

She loves her blonde hair: She was “ready for it to suck”, but it’s been transformative. “I feel more like a woman, somehow,” she says, surprised.

She wanted to do a “classic, old-timey pin-up” look for the shoot: Although it was entirely her idea, Eilish is apprehensive. “I’ve literally never done anything in this realm at all…Y’know, besides when I’m alone and sh-t.”

Being photographed in a tight tank top: “It made me really offended when people were like, ‘Good for her for feeling comfortable in her bigger skin.’ Jesus Christ?! Good for me? F**k off! 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.”

Why she wanted to wear corsets: “If I’m honest with you, I hate my stomach, and that’s why.” Eilish predicts one side of the response to the shoot: “‘If you’re about body positivity, why would you wear a corset? Why wouldn’t you show your actual body?’ My thing is that I can do whatever I want.” Confidence is her only gospel, she says, yet that intent has been spun into “a lot of weird miscommunications”. She clears it up: “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, f**k it – if you feel like you look good, you look good.”

The new album: “I’ve grown so much and gotten so much better in my voice, it’s crazy to think about. I think change is one of the best gifts in the world.”

On how teenage girls are victimized by men: “Absolutely. It’s an insane thing. Young women, we’re expected to know and do everything, and be everyone’s mom when we’re like, 15. I used to not understand why age mattered. And, of course, you feel like that when you’re young, because you’re the oldest you’ve ever been. You feel like you’re so mature and you know everything.” But you shouldn’t have to know everything then, she says. The expectation creates space for exploitation. “People forget that you can grow up and realise sh-t was f**ked up when you were younger.”

It can happen to anyone: “I wanted to say that it doesn’t matter who you are, what your life is, your situation, who you surround yourself with, how strong you are, how smart you are. You can always be taken advantage of. That’s a big problem in the world of domestic abuse or statutory rape – girls that were very confident and strong-willed finding themselves in situations where they’re like, ‘Oh my god, I’m the victim here?’ And it’s so embarrassing and humiliating and demoralising to be in that position of thinking you know so much and then you realise, I’m being abused right now.”

[From British Vogue]

Even the fact that a 19-year-old pop star – one of the biggest pop stars in the world – is talking in very real and educational terms about the abuse and exploitation of girls is proof that everything she’s saying here is 100% accurate. Men and boys are allowed almost a complete abdication for their own actions and behavior, and girls and women are not only being victimized, we’re having to educate one another on what’s happening. We’re using our platforms and our spaces to talk to girls and women about the crimes and damage being perpetrated on us, as opposed to using those spaces to talk about literally anything else.

It’s obviously not all dark and educational with Billie – she sounds like she’s in a healthy place these days. She’s gone from sleeping all morning to being an early riser. She’s looking forward to the end of the pandemic but not looking forward to hanging out with all of the people who were breaking lockdown all the time. She sounds really proud of this new album too.

Cover and photos courtesy of British Vogue.

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121 Responses to “Billie Eilish goes full-on blonde-bombshell pin-up for a British Vogue editorial”

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  1. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    I really don’t know who she is (other than a singer and that she used to wear super baggy clothes from pictures I’ve seen)
    Wow!!!! The pictures are giving off 40’s screen siren vibes to me.

    • Bettyrose says:

      She wore baggy clothes because she didn’t want people talking about her body. I respect that but good for her for having the confidence to do this. Classic pinup girl fabulous.

    • Moonie says:

      I’ve never heard her, but I know her name and have seen her occasionally, but this is next level WOW! She looks GORGEOUS! Definitely a “40’s screen siren vibe,” MerlinsMom! And yes, “classic pinup-girl fabulous,” Bettyrose. I LOVE this!

  2. fishface says:

    She is SOOOOO gorgeous.

  3. Courtney B says:

    Some of the poses are a bit awkward but she looks great especially on the cover. And thankfully she’s not a minor. The sexualization of under age pop stars like Britney Spears was so gross. She’s an adult and making her own decisions about her image and what she projects. Though I’m sure some still picture her younger (and she is technically a teen) and enjoy it for that reason but that’s their own pervy attitudes. And, yes, the fact that she’s told she has a big body is ridiculous and no wonder girls have image problems. But since she looks gorgeous and sexy here and is obviously proud of her looks than hopefully that’ll be a good message to girls who feel they’re their figures aren’t represented as such.

    • Snuffles says:

      I agree. She’s gorgeous but she still comes across as an awkward teen. But good for her for trying new things!

      She looks like the love child of Kat Dennings and Scarlet Johansson.

      • smcollins says:

        I never considered Kat Dennings (definitely think she strongly resembles a young SJ) but now I can’t unsee it. What a stunning transformation! She’s gorgeous (not that you couldn’t see it before).

      • Ellie says:

        Maybe it’s the kids on my lawn, or watching every young female pop artist of the past 20 years go blonde and strip to their undies for media attention like clockwork, but all I see is a dead-eyed awkwardness that just screams, “the flabby, middle-aged suits at my record label told me to do this”.

        That, and Cillian Murphy.

      • Courtney B says:

        She has Scarjo’s pouty mouth and, well, bustiness for sure. I didn’t see Dennings until you mentioned it but similar bone structure and, again, bustiness.
        @ellie OmG now I can’t unsee Cillian Murphy in the eyes! I see her awkwardness as being of a younger age and this styling being different and coming out of her comfort zone. If she wasn’t talking about it the way she is I may think what you thought, that it’s being pushed on her. But she seems comfortable (if not entirely with the poses) with it.

      • SM says:

        Oh my God. I can not unsee Cillian Murphy in Breakfast o n Pluto now.

      • JaneBee87 says:

        Major Emily Blunt vibes!

  4. Brittany says:

    Those were some wise words on exploitation. It’s good to hear her take the responsibility off the victim’s shoulders where our society prefers to leave it.

  5. Smices says:

    She looks a bit like Lady Gaga.

  6. Lemons says:

    At first, I was like….”Here we go again, another pop starlet sexualizing herself.”
    But to be honest, I’m fine with it? She’s being honest with us, she knows what she’s doing and she seems to be in a good place where she can choose w/e she wants to feel good.

    Post pandemic, I think many of us will be in the same boat…Like…I really want to wear some makeup and a sexy dress and go to a nice dinner and bar and feel hot…But I also want to wear sweats, a mask, and not be bothered. We should definitely be able to have both worlds without fearing criticism or worse.

    • Mama says:

      Did you read any of her quotes from the article? She’s basically “I will do what I want. When I want. And it is always my choice.” So if she wants to be sexual – great. If she doesn’t – great. She’ll get hounded and criticized no matter what she does.

      • Lucy2 says:

        She seems very self assured and I hope more and more young women feel that way- do what they want, not what they are pressured to do.

    • nb says:

      @lemons I’m glad you’re fine with an adult woman choosing how to portray herself to the world. :eyeroll:

      And this is the problem. She specifically says she chose this, she wanted this, and she is comfortable with it and still we have people judging and deciding they are ‘fine with it’. If you weren’t, does it matter? It’s not your decision or choice and she obviously isn’t looking for anyone’s approval.

      • Commonwealthy sounded witty at first says:

        I think Lemons was sharing an honest but supportive opinion and a big-picture reflection on a gossip site… we give our opinions on adult women all the time here.

    • Lory says:

      She also waited until she was over 18– she did not allow the music industry to sexualize her and sell sex instead of her music. Now as a 19 year old, she can decide how best to navigate her sexuality and to what respect that will affect her career.

  7. sunny says:

    She looks wonderful and it is nice to see her both experiment with her look and also continue to find her voice. Interested to see where her career heads

  8. Laalaa says:

    I love Your power, I wish I heard it when I was 19, that’s the only thing I’ll say, I wish I had a role model like her.
    I respect her in every way, and I am a classical musician soon to be 33.

  9. Mrs. Peel says:

    She’s very mature for her age, she shows wisdom I didn’t reach for years later. A wonderful role model in my opinion.

  10. Monica says:

    ::sigh:: I’d like to see a woman empowered to not glam up for once.

    • Jezz says:

      Agreed. Everyone saying she looks “wonderful” in her underpants just make me sad. She was always beautiful, and her conforming to the male gaze is not an accomplishment. I hope she gets the validation she needs and deserves and then moves on to something more unique (which is really what she is best at).

      • Snuffles says:

        I dunno. I just think she’s at that age where she wants to experiment and try new looks. Have fun with it. I seriously doubt this is going to stick. She’ll probably end up somewhere in between comically baggy and skin tight lingerie.

    • Aven Sharp says:

      I’d like to see a woman empowered to wear whatever the hell makes her feel empowered and not get cut down by other women or belittled for her choices. For once.

      • Ragna says:


        Let her wear what she wants, don’t diminish her agency by making her choice of what to wear centered on men, she exists first and unless told otherwise her choice was for her and her alone.

        Empowering women means all women, whether they wear something you like or not.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        I would like to see that too, Aven Sharpe. The way a woman feels about this issue may go back and forth, and sometimes she might take a break from another person’s preferences in that area. There’s nothing wrong with that.

        Plus this idea that female immodesty always = male gaze, but being modest/keeping it classy, is a myth. There’s more than one side to the male gaze. Female modesty has often been about the no accountability, pro-victim-blaming, angry side of the male gaze.

      • Brittany says:

        Well it’s interesting how what makes her feel empowered dovetails exactly with patriarchal expectations. And how at the age of 19 she is supposed to be able to understand the difference. “I hate my stomach” isn’t empowerment.

      • Scal says:

        THIS. She got so much hate from people for wearing baggy clothes as it looked ‘sloppy’ and gross. And now some of those same people are hating her for wearing what she wants in a photo spread.

        She’s proving why she said wore baggy clothes early in her career so people would focus on her sound and not her looks.

      • Laalaa says:

        Just here to say HELL, YEAH!

      • Midge says:

        @Brittany – THIS. “Well it’s interesting how what makes her feel empowered dovetails exactly with patriarchal expectations.”

    • Case says:

      I mean…it’s just a photo shoot and she’s just experimenting. *shrugs* She was just as empowered wearing baggy clothes. I don’t see this as conforming to the male gaze – she makes it very clear here that she’s doing this for herself. If she feels beautiful and powerful here, that’s all that matters.

    • Mama says:

      She made the choice so how is that not empowered? Is it only empowering if she looks how you want her to look? She has been wearing baggy clothes so that people wouldn’t talk about her body. So then she wants to try something new and now you have judged she isn’t empowered? Sheesh. Just because a lot of women don’t want to be sexual or look sexual or try something new doesn’t mean someone who does isn’t empowered.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Did you read what she said?

      She basically said that you should do whatever feels good, so she obviously feels as good like this as she did with neon hair and skate boarder clothes.
      She’s a kid, let her find herself. She clearly doesn’t care about anyone’s judgements, and that necessarily includes yours (and mine).

    • Monica says:

      Look. If I were in her place I would undoubtedly do the same thing. This is about the culture, not her.

      And no. I am NOT belittling her. I am granting her the respect of considering her position seriously even when I don’t agree with it.

      • MM2 says:

        She’s human, not a robot who only lives for consumption. I have a hard time when people feel like they can put unrealistic expectations on people because they are famous & then pin blame on them for our societal ills (our ills that we put on them- it’s very ironic).

  11. humanhedgehog says:

    I am so jealous of those corsets. I also love that she seems to have drawn her lines about what she wants to show or not, rather than just *naked starlet*

  12. Sofia says:

    I think she looks great. Also like the colour palette of the cover/shoot.

  13. Case says:

    I don’t have much of an opinion one way or the other of Billie, but props to her for being honest about her insecurities and the importance of doing what makes you feel the best in your body.

    When she dyed her hair blonde I had the thought that she might be transitioning into a more “adult” look. I’m glad she waited until she actually became an adult to do this and wasn’t pressured into it before she was ready. She must have good support behind her because she seems to be handling growing up in the spotlight well.

  14. SM says:

    I really like it, she looks fantastic. I am sure Madonna is attempting something in the bathroom with her old wardrobe right this moment.
    As for what she says about abuse is so true. and that coming from someone who practically works side by side with her older brother, who is her producer and tours with her and, who I am sure, in some cases has to act as a buffer for all the harassment and bullshit. Can’t imagine how it is for a young girl looking to make it in music, who does not nave that kind of protection.

  15. Soupie says:

    I like her. I bet a lot of people relate to this quote:

    “People forget that you can grow up and realise sh-t was f**ked up when you were younger.”

  16. Otaku fairy says:

    Now people are basically going to be like Drew Barrymore’s dad in Riding In Cars with Boys: “I Thought U Were Special.” Just like in the 00’s and 10’s, men and women show their true colors and are still quick to discard, devalue, and cross boundaries when a young woman or girl is no longer useful in their one-sided battles against the ‘nasty’ girls in their societies. It’s clear that Billie Eilish expects the moral panics and has been trying to set boundaries with people who want to use her in that way for a long time now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s fully prepared for everything that comes with it, or for the fact that her abuse probably won’t just come from conservatives and mras anymore. She looks great though.

  17. Laura says:

    She’s mentioned numerous times in interviews that she wore baggy clothes because she was kind of “big” (not just boobs), but she’s really not. I get being insecure about your body but it’s kind of annoying when you’re actually thin and hot.


      Laura- I don’t see why it’s “annoying” when people that have conventionally attractive characteristics feel self-conscious. They are just as entitled to insecurities as anyone else.

    • Splinter says:

      Well, growing into this body probably felt “big” to her. When a skinny teenager turns into a curvy woman she needs some time to get used to it.

  18. Midge says:

    I think she looks like she was drugged and someone dressed her while she was unconscious. After being attacked and threatened online yesterday for writing something similar, I’ll give a little more context. I am not only talking about the obvious – the unsteady stance and half closed eyes. I mean that she does not have agency. This is not the new Billie. This is the creation of a team, the latest sexualization of a female talent. It is Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Beyonce. It is the same corset and lingerie we squeeze women into over and over again. It is history repeating itself. Remember skater girl Gwen Stefani, who then morphed into the pants-less corset with fillers? Come on. Billie might feel sexy or different and enjoy it for a bit, but let’s not pretend that is original or that it came from Billie. She is 19 and part of the machine that sexualizes female celebrities in order to increase profits.

    • Mama says:


      • Sarah says:

        Agreed. I don’t believe this was her idea. It’s definitely a PR move. She looks drugged and uncomfortable. She’s very beautiful but it’s a bizarre look. At least Madonna was somewhat original with her hairbows, fingerless gloves and bangles and wearing a wedding dress singing like a virgin lol. She created a “look”. This is just an imitation of pinups from the past. It’s too bad. They don’t do this same bs to men.

    • Case says:

      She’s a 19 year old woman. Why is it so hard to believe she wants to experiment with her looks and style? I understand that the music industry is a dark place and sexualizes women, but given how much control Billie has had over her image thus far (and was SUPER successful while dressing very modestly), I don’t agree with this at all.

      Re: Her eyes — they’re always like that. She’s probably trying to make a certain face and this is how her eyes look while she’s doing it.

      • Midge says:

        Experiment? Blonde hair and a corset, how original and revolutionary. This look is literally centuries in the making. Centuries of discomfort and male fantasy. And I stand by it – the half closed eyes and unsteady stance is like a rag doll dressed up by someone else. How women will defend this over and over again is beyond me. But that’s the genius of it all – women are tricked into thinking it’s a choice, it’s expression, it’s freedom.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        No one is arguing that It’s original. It doesn’t have to be original to be what she wants or to be freeing for her. And no, this isn’t those ‘other girls’ being tricked. (Some) modest women really need to stop with the “I’m just smarter and better and balanced, avoiding male fantasies, not like those other girls” narrative that gets used as a shield any time they’re criticized by other women for sexual gaslighting. There’s nothing original about being the girl who doesn’t want to show this much skin either, or revolutionary about being bothered by women dressing like that. They don’t ever want to admit that all of that plays into male fantasy too, they just want to keep pretending to be superior other women over covered tits.

      • Case says:

        @Midge I mean experimenting for her. Not that it’s a brand new concept in the world. I have brown hair. If I dyed my hair blonde, I’d be experimenting with my own look, even though there are millions of blonde women already in existence.

      • chinchillaqueen says:

        There’s a reason Billie’s eyes look half-closed: she has ptosis–drooping– of the eyelids (most commonly due to separation of the tendon of the lid-lifting muscle from the eyelid). It’s not right to describe her as “dead-eyed,” giving a far-off-stare, or similar pejoratives. Billie isn’t doing anything on purpose here, and she’s certainly not drugged! Such remarks are really ugly.

      • Midge says:

        For the love of god, she does not have bilateral ptosis. I am a doctor and that is ludicrous. It’s a facial expression that goes with her whole “persona”.

    • AmyB says:

      No wonder you were attacked and threatened.

      She is 19, and as others pointed out, what is wrong with experimenting with her look? This is exactly the kind of reaction she was talking about that she expected to get b/c, she always dressed in large t-shirts and didn’t display her body until now! And honestly, the look in these photos, isn’t her in some skimpy barely there clothing. It is a very vintage style 40s vibe, but yes figure conscious. I think she looks lovely and it is nice to see her embrace her curves. She is a beautiful girl.

      Maybe you should have considered what you said, when you were attacked before???

      • Midge says:

        So being attacked online and threatened for having a different opinion on an aesthetic that I find to be oppressive to women is OK? Got it.

      • AmyB says:

        @Midge it wasn’t a difference of opinion. You said she looked drugged, and as if this wasn’t her choice. Clearly you don’t know much about her and her life. You can say, hey I don’t like her look fine. But to say she looks drugged and it was done against her will – you don’t see the difference?????

      • Midge says:

        Do you see her stance in the photos? It’s reminiscent of early 90s “heroin chic”. The far off stare, half closed eyes and unsteady stance? She looks drugged. And that combined with the styling lends to a general vibe lack of agency vibe. That is my opinion. And clearly you know much about how the business works and how a team of people surround artists, pressure and influence them.

      • AmyB says:

        @Midge – reminiscent of early 90s “heroin chic” you have to be kidding me??? Billie does not look like a starving 90 lb. woman, give me a break. Have you seen other pictures, editorial photos of her???? She frequently takes pics like that – that far off stare, I think that is part of the image she wishes to create and nothing to do with drugs and heroin chic. Her styling is beautiful, sorry you don’t agree and that is fine, but to attack her for other reasons other than that, is ridiculous. Stop being so presumptuous about what other people may know, or not know about the entertainment industry. Geez!!

      • Midge says:

        “The far off stare, half closed eyes and unsteady stance? She looks drugged”
        Yes, that’s my opinion.

      • AmyB says:

        @Midge Do you know anything about Billie Ellish? She is still living with her parents and they still are very involved in her life. She doesn’t do drugs and is very vocal about it LMAO. Your “opinion” is wrong. But I thought you were upset about the aesthetic that was “oppressive to women”???? As if a woman can’t control the narrative???

      • Midge says:

        OK, simmer down super fan. She *looks drugged. My opinion – the imagery is both that of physical lack of control, ie drugged, and theoretical lack of agency based on the oppressive and formulaic sexualization. Drugged is the literal, and “unconscious” plays upon the theoretical, as in she is not making “conscious” decisions, rather manipulated the industry machine.

      • AmyB says:

        @Midge I am not some super fan. I only know more about her due to my daughter’s interest in her music. But, clearly you have issue with women dressing in a way that promotes their beauty/or sexuality/or feminine side for some unknown reason. God forbid they embrace that and take control of the narrative. Everything is about the oppressive, and formulaic sexualization!!! Do you have issue with all women dressing in this sort of way? Would you rather Billie stay in her over-baggy t-shirts, always covering up her body, because as she described she was always super self-conscious of it. Perhaps this is her way of coming out and showcasing her acceptance of her body image. I mean let’s criticize a woman for doing that, shall we?

      • Midge says:

        @AmyB you are making a lot of personal attacks and assumptions about me. See @Emma’s Comment below re: the music industry. Just for fun, google “corset popstar” and see the images of Halloween costumes. It’s a uniform or costume at this point. Billie is just the latest in a long line of female talents to succumb to this.

      • AmyB says:

        @Midge – personal attacks? “OK simmer down super fan?”

        Sure thing.

    • gemcat says:

      I think two things can be true at once.
      I think she can have agency AND we can view her and this from an awareness of the male gaze that repeats this same (to me frankly boring) image over and over again. I don’t see the need to say that this did not “come from Bille” or that “she does not have agency”, she is the only person who can really speak to that. By saying that she doesn’t (when she clearly says it was her idea) aren’t you de facto robbing her of agency?

      • Midge says:

        I agree with everything you said, all of that is possible. But I have stated my opinion, which is based on how formulaic and predictable the look is. I could superpose countless, pants-less, corseted, blonde celebrities seamlessly into these same photos. Again, my opinion, my hunch is that she was ready to reinvent, to show a different side, but was convinced by a team or even by her own unconscious or conscious exposure to this imagery – that THIS is how it is achieved.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Assumptions. And unpleasant judgements. Happy Monday!

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      I mean, perhaps I’m alone in this, but I actually *didn’t* view this photoshoot as centered on the male gaze. I felt like it was a young woman (who describes in the interview how she conceived the shoot) crafting the image she wanted. After seeing this yesterday, I actually went shopping for some pretty lingerie after a year of not wearing bras. And I also own a custom corset I had made years ago. It’s beautiful, supports my posture & I feel great wearing it when I’m so inclined. I don’t wear any of that stuff for men & my husband doesn’t care either way.

    • Emma says:

      100% this. As someone very deep in the record label industry I can tell you that this is a very conscious effort on behalf of her label and managers to push a new narrative and sell her records to a new demographic because baggy clothes on a grown woman are not going to attract enough attention. It’s the classic “I’m choosing this” but it’s actually the same sexualization every female starlet goes through at around 18/19 to continue their career. Everything at her level of fame is orchestrated and created to manipulate the sale of her as a product, make no mistake, whatever she says or doesn’t say there is a machine behind her that is so controlling and all encompassing do not be fooled into thinking that any of these star artists make any choice out of free agency. This is why they are depressed, on drugs, alcoholics, have mental health issues. Because they are not free to do what they need to do for themselves, they are bound by million dollar contracts and NDAs. That’s just the truth of it from someone who has worked with these artists.

      • Midge says:

        @Emma, thank you articulating my thoughts better than I am perhaps.

      • Twin falls says:

        @emma – agree. 17 and 19 aren’t light years apart and her words “it’s so embarrassing and humiliating and demoralising to be in that position of thinking you know so much and then you realise, I’m being abused right now”.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        The fact that it sells records (big deal, so do Adele, Barbara Streisand, Janelle Monae, Celine Dion, Lorde, and countless other female artists who cover up, including Billie Eilish herself up until now) and is in line with some male fantasies doesn’t mean that it isn’t also her choice or in line with her beliefs though. That’s the point that’s being missed. No doubt the pressures you mentioned are very much there in the industry. But people often look at the outside pressures women face in a very selective way, and assume that because those pressures are there, they must be THE motive for the woman doing something they disaprove of. They don’t want to look at anything else around the woman’s choice. Especially when it comes to being the kind of women we’re socialized to abuse and disrespect (or how that often takes a toll on mental health in all the ways you mentioned and more).
        Also, Billie has already discussed her mental health back when she was modestly dressed. It wouldn’t be fair to attribute her present or possible future struggles with what she’s wearing in these photos.

      • Midge says:

        @Otaku fairy
        That is anecdotal evidence.

      • Maria says:

        I am curious about the concept that this is for marketing is somehow a nuance meant to highlight the shallowness of this particular depiction in Billie’s career.

        Do you wear tinted lip balm or lipstick as opposed to Vaseline, thus buying into the idea of red lips signifying fecundity in women? Do you purchase clothes at stores that have significantly different (in a negative way) construction and pricing for women’s garments instead of men’s rather than buying everything to be without gender and secondhand? Do you use razors and remove leg or underarm hair? Do you use terms like “nesting” to describe the inherently feminine nature of some domestic preparation? These are hypothetical questions of course, but in all these ways and in countless others, you are living in and perpetuating patriarchal stereotypes. Women have to make choices every day navigating this society. Implying they are too stupid to understand the implications of the narrative that personal choices should be empowered is a cop out.

      • Maria says:

        That’s not what anecdotal evidence is.

  19. Scal says:

    I said this up thread, but she’s getting so much hate from all comers. Various quotes I’ve seen out there on twitter and various celeb sites:
    We thought you were fat and that’s why you wore baggy clothes!
    So much for wanting people to focus on your voice.
    So she wore slobby clothes for no reason eh?
    If I had know that was underneath I would have wanted to XYZ
    She’s being slu**y now.
    She’s to fat to wear her underwear in a magazine spread.

    Darned if you do, darned if you don’t. JUST DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:


    • Merricat says:

      Yes. The vitriol is unnecessary, especially if you think she’s being victimized by patriarchal powers. Misogyny is so ingrained in our culture from all sides.

  20. Mimi says:

    It’s true. Damn if you do and Damn if you don’t. She’s gorgeous

  21. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I’ll keep the blonde, corset-wearing sexpot musings to myself as I’ve seen it a million times. I loved her oversized outfits. I can only imagine the stages and conversations she had to go through too arrive at the above images. One thing is certain. Scarjo and Murphy had a one-nighter 19 years ago.

    • Andie says:

      She’s still really young, and she has the means, access, and audience to play with her look all she wants. At 19, 20, 21 I would have (and did!) play with TONS of different looks, fashion, make up, and “identity” wise (I put it in quotes because at that age I didn’t really even know who I was, but that’s kind of the point, I was trying different stuff on!) the difference is I wasn’t famous so it’s not documented, and I wasn’t rich so I could only afford bits here and there to express myself.

      I mean I get it, so many young people want to experiment and play with their look. Even ones who are famous and talented.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        And I didn’t have social media or camera phones…wink wink. Praise all the heavens and planets there isn’t documentation of my later teen years.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      Yesssssssss! I’m often thankful that there wasn’t social media documentation when I was much younger.

      She’s 19 and will experiment with different personas and looks for a while.

  22. Watson says:

    These comments are odd to me. I thought feminism would allow you the choice to wear/do what you wanted to do. Instead we are policing a young woman’s right to change her aesthetic.

    • Andie says:

      Thank you!!! This exactly

    • AmyB says:

      YES TO THIS ^^^^^

    • Sam the Pink says:

      That’s simplistic, I think – a vestige of the “I choose my choice” feminism/empowerment.

      Feminism, to me, is not about individual women, if that makes sense. Feminism, big-F, is a movement that is about the uplifting of women as a group, as a class. It’s not here to make any individual woman or girl “feel good” about her choices. It’s beyond that.

      Billie is absolutely free to look however she wants – where do you see anybody arguing otherwise? The absence of approval or celebration should not be taken as condemnation. What a lot of people are saying is that before, she had an appearance and an image that, for the pop world, was pretty unique – and it resonated with a lot of people who felt left behind by the majority of what was out there. She is very pretty in these photos – but the first thing that popped into my head was that she’s also very generic looking as well – I can think of a hundred other pop stars who have taken photos very similar to these. Nothing I have said is “attacking” Billie or chastising her – and I hate that we’ve watered down feminism to to point where pointing that out can be construed as an attack due to misunderstanding what feminism is really supposed to be.

      • Maria says:

        The idea of treating feminism as a monolith is a dialogue that contributes to the exclusion of several groups of women within it.

        If you aren’t upholding the right of a woman to choose what empowers her, and you instead focus on assuming it is incumbent on the woman to correct her own behavior and appearance to rectify social problems that are the product of patriarchy, you get into victim-blaming territory.

        There are women who are very active in perpetuating patriarchy through assisting the disenfranchisement of others in various ways. Choosing a corset for a photoshoot is not one of those ways in my opinion.
        Ultimately, others can dislike her new image, but feeling entitled to “how she was before” is also problematic.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        That’s not feminism as I know it. Feminism has an actual definition – feminism has always been a movement – political, cultural, social, economic, etc. that has focused on achieving equality for women. That’s what it’s about. If we are going to water it down to a place where, as the Onion so succinctly put it years ago, “Everything a woman does is now empowerment”, we have lost the thread.

        Little “e” empowerment is individualistic – it is makes you feel good, do it. But that’s not the Big E Empowerment feminism seeks. Empowerment are those things that move us forward as a sex. Billie’s lingerie does not move womankind forward, sorry. The feminism that is espoused as “I empower myself through these photos” is a cynical libertarian feminism that promotes the individual woman above all else. It also treats each woman as an island, free of pressure or consequence.

        One of the reasons why feminism appealed to me a long time ago was because it was so CRITICAL – it was about forcing ourselves to look at why we choose certain choices, and the message they send to others. It was subversive and challenging, and now you seem more upset at the idea of possibly “victim blaming” then actually doing any critical thinking. Why is it that Billie’s empowerment tracks so perfectly into a heteronormative male gaze? Does her embrace of the mainstream now make it more difficult for young women who don’t wish to embrace such an image break into the industry? That’s the kind of questions that Big F Feminism would ask, but now we seem more concerned with not causing any offense. It just comes off as a cynical, patronizing feminism that doesn’t actually help us.

      • Maria says:

        The idea that feminism is designed to uplift all women while condemning the concept of uplifting women’s personal choices at the same time makes no sense. I see this definition as more libertarian than Billie herself because it implies the same sociopolitical and personal motivations across the board and reeks of dismissing other groups as “identity politics”.

        Implying that women’s choices are responsible for cultural attitudes that satirize feminism is also a conundrum to me.

        This view also entirely rejects the concepts of intersectionality and the fact that your priorities as a feminist are not going to be everyone else’s. And the idea that her lingerie “isn’t going to be what moves us forward” is slightly patriarchal in its puritanical implications.

        Women can be critical of themselves and still choose to put on a corset.

        Her choices are only going to do so much in an industry dominated by the male gaze and assuming it is her responsibility to do so is completely removing the responsibility of the men who control this narrative.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        Does her embrace of the mainstream now make it more difficult for young women who don’t wish to embrace such an image break into the industry? ”
        Nope. Just like another woman’s choice to cover her boobs or to save sex for certain stages in a relationship is not what’s making it harder for women who want to do do those things to be treated with basic respect or not get fired from their jobs. Telling women that bad things that happen to us and pressures we face are the fault of other individual women for not having the same exact boundaries as us when it comes to their bodies has always been one of the patriarchy’s traps. It has always been portrayed as protecting women, promoting accountability, and thinking critically, but it isn’t in the long run. It is important to take a critical look at what’s behind personal choices (and think women do that kind of analyzing a lot, it starts early in life) though. But most decisions a woman can possibly make about sex and the body can appeal to the male gaze in some way.

      • Lady Wraith says:

        Thank yoiu. An actual smart take.

  23. Andie says:

    Cover photo she looks like cillian murphy in the face SO MUCH

  24. Marie says:

    Nothing wrong with artists reinventing themselves. Bowie did it. Madonna did it.

  25. outofthecloset says:

    Everybody wants to argue about this girl today… I just want to see the whole tattoo on her hip.

    She looks fabulous, and for lingerie, those pieces are still covering a lot and keeping her modest, in my opinion. It’s not like her whole rear end is out. Or the tetas.

  26. Bibliomommy96 says:

    Wasn’t she a blonde before the whole skaterboi look?

  27. K says:

    Billie is being herself. And that’s good enough for me. I’m not going to judge her for how she decides to present herself, whether that’s by having green hair or wearing beautiful lingerie. I don’t want anyone defining me that way.

  28. Mina_Esq says:

    I thought Billie was annoying until I realized how old she was and that she was just being a normal angsty teenager. I was embarrassed that we as society usually dont allow young women to act their age. I now love Billie. Im happy that she has had the opportunity to move things along at her own pace.

  29. paranormalgirl says:

    some of you need to check your internal misogyny at the door.

  30. Queen Meghan’s Hand says:

    I like the cover outfit and pose but the rest of the story…the poses are awkward! And her bangs aren’t styled great. The stylist and photographer could have done a better job. However she’s still stunning and working those outfits.

  31. Maria says:

    I think she looks beautiful. I think she looked great before and is very talented. I know very little about her beyond that but even if she wants to re-market herself as others say it’s not like her *not* doing that would magically improve celebrity culture or this industry. So she had a makeover that corresponds to some of the male gaze. So what? Why does that mean she can’t feel empowered? You could argue a lot of choices correspond to male gaze, problematic institutions etc. People don’t live in a cultural vacuum. The idea that it’s a 19 year old woman’s responsibility to somehow live her life trying to undo harmful social patterns that have existed for hundreds of years before she was even born is unfair to me. The negative passion this is inspiring is sort of beyond me lol.

  32. pamspam says:

    Know what bums me out? The way people speak to each other here lately. We all have our own opinions and I feel like we used to do a better job of speaking to one another respectfully here. But it seems that lately, people go from zero to 100 instantly. Disagree with what someone commented? That’s fine. But can we just give each other a break and disagree in a way that doesn’t automatically assume the other person is some narrow-minded, idiotic asshole?

    • outofthecloset says:

      Yeah, welcome to Trump’s America. (mimes vomiting)

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Do you believe the reactions would be more strong, or less strong, if it was a queer male artist being discussed the way Billie Eilish is for presenting himself this way? And when queer male entertainers are disrespected for it, is there an expectation (on the left) for men and boys in the lgbtq community to always have the most docile reactions to it and give each commenter the benefit of the doubt? Not accusing you of anything. Just a question. It’s just something i’ve been noticing for a long time. That women from all communities are sometimes expected to have a slightly calmer reaction to how females are treated over what they do with their bodies and how they present. Men are given a little more leeway to express discomfort about things said about boys online.
      By internet standards, I actually thought the conversations (not things said about Billie, but things said to and about other posters) weren’t bad. There was no name-calling, no threatening, and almost nobody tried to armchair diagnose anyone as a cover for old prejudices.

  33. Jayna says:

    She’s 19 and experimenting with her newfound womanhood. Sure, I find the look predictable, nothing innovative. Just what Gaga did, which Madonna had done before as a popstar. Corsets, bleached blonde. But she’s 19 and having fun. At 19, I was full-on sexy as I could get: coastal town beach girl, teeny-tiny bikinis, a bra on as little as possible in my free time. I loved being sexy in a very young, natural way. You’re only 19 once. LOL

  34. Nibbi says:

    But whenever a teenaged starlet suddenly goes “megasex” and busts out a shoot like this, it’s hailed as THE sign that she’s suddenly fully grown up, “A REAL WOMAN NOW LOOK HOW EMPOWERED AND OF COURSE SHE S CALLING ALL THE SHOTS.”

    I dunno… I guess it’s the conflation of finally unveiling one’s body and being “officially grown up” that bothers me. The messaging is super problematic.

    I too am old enough to remember Britney, Christina, Jessica Simpson, et al going through exactly this sort of image makeover timed with the release of a new album. I adore her and wish the best for her and sure she’s gonna experiment and it’s her right and all, but I understand why this makes some ppl sorta sigh.

    • Angh says:

      I actually love these photos. I love that it’s all lingerie clad blonde bombshell but the face says “yeah, what to you want?” it’s an F you look not an F me. It’s not about conforming to the male gaze. I do think it says something that no one seems to be looking at her face in this shoot.

      • Elo says:

        I agree- I love this photo shoot and everything she’s saying but holy dead eyes that face I can’t look anywhere else. I’m not sure it’s intentional though. Like I don’t know whether she is intentionally giving F you eyes or if she is just not photogenic and gets camera dead eyes but it’s kinda off putting.

    • Lady Wraith says:

      All that’s changed is the narrative, now we don’t do it for the male gaze, we do it for EMPOWERMENT. Choice feminism is exhausting, if you don’t approve someone going the same old path then you represent the patriarchy and are victim blaming and whatnot. If she hadn’t gone blonde and “naked” for some magazine then we wouldn’t know that she fully embraces her sexuality and adulthood. She even says it herself, she feels more like a woman (being blonde). It’s all pretty lame and predictable. I think she looks beautiful, she’s always been that. But everyone is doing mental gymnastics to justify something we’ve seen a million times before, the cliche sexy photoshoot with the same purpose and the same results. It’s “I’m not a Disney childstar anymore, I’m all grown up!” It is shitty that EVERY single teen star feels that this is the ONLY way to come out as a woman, as a sexual being, etc. whether Billie chose it herself or not.

      • Maria says:

        Or maybe you are projecting with this talk of “choice feminism” and “mental gymnastics”.

        If you don’t like a gendered aesthetic trend then fine but the sexist pseudo-feminist condescension all over this post is not great.

  35. Vesper says:

    She looks terrible in the face…I’m sorry but she does not a model make. It’s like they put her head on another body. But if she enjoyed conjuring up this throw-back look, then more power to her. But all I see is a little girl reluctantly playing dress up in a woman’s clothes. He dazed look does not convey the confidence her article wants us to believe she feels.

  36. Amando says:

    The cover photo is nice, but the other photos are odd. Weird posing with bored/lifeless eyes. I guess it was only a matter of time before she (like all other popstars) go down the pin-up girl road. The thing that sets her apart is she is genuinely talented and I love her new song.

  37. Natasha says:

    I think she looks like Lady Gaga with blonde hair

  38. shanaynay says:

    I’m not as hip as I may once have been. Can someone please tell me what she sings? I honestly do not know who she is. Wow! She is so beautiful.

  39. Janet says:

    People need to relax. These aren’t photos of her walking down the street. This is a magazine photoshoot. It’s a stylized theme, which is what magazines tend to do. The women hating on feminine looking women on this website can stop fretting she’s still wearing baggy sexless clothing in her new music video. She looks completely androgynous, which is apparently the only way a women can look that isn’t somehow caving into the big bad patriarchy. God forbid a women embrace her femininity.
    I hope they don’t wear lipstick or shave their legs, or wear revealing clothing because that would make them raving hypocrites!

    • Otaku fairy says:

      +1. It’s hypocritical to say that it’s not our responsibility to make women feel good about their choices and call it individualistic to defend women, but in the same breath argue that individual women owe it to other individual women who don’t want to be pressured to show cleavage and leg to cover up. It plays into the patriarchal default of prioritizing ‘good’ girls who say ‘yes’ to respectability politics over ‘bad’ girls who say ‘no’ to that (when a truly feminist world would really require treating both equally, and removing the hierarchy). It demands that women give up their right to set boundaries with modesty culture/purity culture. It’s the same tactic conservatives and all of thsis world’s patriarchal religions use to shame girls for casual or premarital sex: make them responsible for any pressure on the girl who really wants to wait.