William Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell, otherwise known as Billie Eilish, an eighteen year old singer known for her soft vocals and anti-pop sound, broke into the music scene at the young age of fourteen. She has become a positive voice for both young people, mental health awareness and women alike. Especially with such an important message, she truly deserves to be honored this Women’s Month with everything she has achieved.
Beginning with her release of “Ocean Eyes” on SoundCloud in 2016, Eilish caught the attention of the public rather quickly. “Ocean Eyes” was written and produced by Finneaus O’Connell, Eilish’s older brother. The two have been a dynamic duo ever since. Still co-writing and producing in the comfort of their bedrooms, the two help each other truly stay grounded.
Eilish garnered attention with her ep Don’t Smile at Me and shortly after the success of the release was named Apple’s Up Next Artist of 2018, and later in 2019 released her full length album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? She received many awards and Eilish received five Grammy’s at the 2020 awards ceremony.
It is no wonder that many have begun to look up to the young artist. With such an authentic start to a booming career listeners are always excited to see what Billie and her brother are working on next.
Billie Eilish has helped to spread a very positive message of feminism and acceptance. Throughout her career she has been questioned on her more conservative style of baggy clothes and chains. Media outlets have deemed her look “dressing like a boy.” Eilish has become more outspoken on this topic as time progresses.
“I think Billie has inspired the youth and the young woman in an emotional way. Though she does feed into woman being the emotional sex, she does put it into an empowering way. For example, in “All the Good Girls Go to Hell”- she says “God herself” basically calling God a woman, contradicting that God is a man. But that alone empowers us women into a “higher power.” She is very fluent in her lyrics that women are important and we shouldn’t feel shame for feeling emotions, no matter what they are,” said fan, CarolAnn Gladstone, 20.
Having only just turned eighteen as of 2020, Eilish has unfortunately experienced sexualization on social media. This occurred after she posted a series of photos and videos, featuring her birthday trip to Hawaii with friends. In the pictures Eilish was seen wearing a swimsuit, unlike her typical posts and received many objectifying comments. The singer has not posted any similar photos to Instagram since following her birthday.
She has been very honest about her struggles with body image issues, as well as about the sexualization of women in the music industry.
“It’s funny, because when you’re a little kid, you don’t think of your body at all. And all of a sudden, you look down and you’re, like, whoa. What can I do to make this go away?” Eilish said in an interview with Vogue Magazine.
She is candid with how she chooses to express herself and feels as though anyone should be able to dress as they see fit. Her merchandise represents this style very well, with baggy artistic t shirts, and various hoodies as leading examples.
Her messages are clearly powerful and this has continued to be displayed. At the start of her new tour billie showed a video of her removing her hoodie and undershirt only appearing in a bra. This was edited together with the statement, “The body I was born with, is it not what you wanted? If what I wear is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I am a slut, If I wear more, if I wear less, who decides what that makes me? What that means? Is my value based only on your perception? Or is your opinion of me not my responsibility?”
Eilish’s impact doesn’t stop there, as she has been very open about her struggle with mental health and depression. This was evident when she discussed her song “listen before I go” where it discusses dying and death. The singer has since opened up about being suicidal while on tour and is glad to be in a better mental place with the help of her mother and brother.
“I hope to see Billie grow happier but also keep her emotional passion into her music. I definitely don’t want to see her sell-out and be unhappy. I hope she finds herself as an adult in better mental health than she did in her teenage years,” said Gladstone.
“Her message of being emotional and not feeling shame for being sad, isn’t something only women need to hear, it’s what everyone needs to hear.”
It is clear that the world and especially women are inspired and excited to see what this young woman will do next both in terms of music and the messages she promotes to society. As well as wishing her the best of luck on her newest world tour.