Fans around the globe adore Billie Eilish, but for years she has struggled to love herself. Now the pop icon is opening up about the "hatred" she felt for her body growing up and how deeply it impacted her mental health.
Speaking candidly in an interview with Vanity Fair, Eilish admitted her negative body image drew her to self-harm. It all came back to haunt the "Bad Guy" hitmaker recently when she found herself being body-shamed on social media after a photo emerged of her wearing a tank top and shorts.
Revisiting the ordeal, Eilish told Vanity Fair she was thankful that it had happened now and not a few years ago. "I think that the people around me were more worried about it than I was because the reason I used to cut myself was because of my body," she said. "To be quite honest with you, I only started wearing baggy clothes because of my body. I was really, really glad though, mainly, that I'm in this place in my life," and that the body shaming didn't happen "three years ago, when I was in the midst of my horrible body relationship — or dancing a ton." She explained that she stopped eating several years ago to be thin.
Eilish recalled barely being a teenager when she tried to take a pill to lose weight. She grew up with a negative body image and achieving fame has brought those feelings to the forefront. "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 said. "So that’s great."
Eilish has made a point of being open about her struggles with her body image and mental health. In a 2020 interview with Gayle King as part of "The Gayle King Grammy Special," she admitted to feeling "so unhappy" and "joyless" after achieving success in the music industry. "There was this fame I didn't want at the time," she explained, according to Refinery29. Being in the limelight proved to be too much.
"I don't want to be too dark, but I genuinely didn't think I'd make it to 17," Eilish, who turned 19 in December, added.
It was through the support of her family that Eilish found the strength to go on. Now she is reaching out to her fans who may be dealing with depression. "I just grab them by the shoulders and I’m like, 'Please take care of yourself and be good to yourself and be nice to yourself,'" she said. "Don’t take that extra step and hurt yourself further."
Zoe Papadakis ✉
Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.
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