Billie Eilish has spoken out about her tendency to wear baggy clothes during performances and public appearances, saying that the attempt to control the way she was perceived by fans and the broader public “didn’t really work”.
The pop star has previously explained the reasoning behind her signature oversized look on several occasions, including in a 2020 cover interview with Dazed. “The only reason I did it was ’cos I hated my body,” she said at the time, and has since opened up further about her relationship with her body in an interview with Vanity Fair.
Appearing in a Calvin Klein campaign in 2019, she also said: “I never want the world to know everything about me. I mean, that’s why I wear big baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath, you know?”
Now, however, the singer admits that the clothes she wore didn’t necessarily have the intended effect. “It’s a ton of work to try to control the image and you can only do it so much, because people are gonna think whatever they think,” she says, in an interview with Vogue Australia. “But it has been so vitally important to have the image that I want, and try to be seen how I want to be seen.”
“Of course, it didn’t really work,” she adds. “It’s really hard to control the narrative in a position like mine, right? You can’t really control it that much, but you can try.”
Back in May, Eilish also preempted the reaction to her departure from her usual aesthetic on the cover of British Vogue’s June 2021 issue. “Don‘t make me not a role model because you‘re turned on by me,” she said. “Showing your body and showing your skin – or not – should not take any respect away from you.“
“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, fuck it – if you feel like you look good, you look good.“
Eilish’s new interview comes ahead of her second studio album, Happier Than Ever, which is set to arrive on July 30. Earlier this month, she dodged moving traffic in the video for her latest single, “NDA”.