Billie Eilish says her racy British Vogue shoot helped her feel a 'little more confident in myself'

·3-min read
Billie Eilish says her controversial British Vogue shoot helped her confidence. (Photo: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls)
Billie Eilish says her controversial British Vogue shoot helped her confidence. (Photo: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls)

Billie Eilish has fielded a lot of criticism since posting her pinup-inspired British Vogue cover shoot, which she's said has cost her social media followers and fueled accusations that she's sold out by wearing lingerie instead of the baggy clothes for which she's more commonly known. But despite the uproar, the 19-year-old singer also credits her provocative shoot for giving her more confidence about her looks.

“I hated the way I looked before – I don’t love it now, but I feel a little more confident in myself and I’ve gotten a lot more proud of who I am and more open to things," the pop star told the Observer in a new interview. "I think [that shoot] opened my mind up for having an open mind in the future.”

Eilish has been vocal about her struggles with body image, something she accurately predicted to British Vogue would rile up critics once she revealed her blond, corset-clad transformation for its June 2021 cover.

“‘If you’re about body positivity, why would you wear a corset? Why wouldn’t you show your actual body?’” the magazine's accompanying interview quotes her anticipating the reactions to come. “My thing is that I can do whatever I want."

Speaking to the Observer now, Eilish described the shoot as "so much fun.

“It was playing dress-up, you know? Because that’s what a f***ing photo shoot is.”

She added, "I’m just playing around! You know, I’m allowed to wear anything I want at any time and so is everyone else. That was a fun thing to put out there in the world. You’re allowed to change. You’re also allowed to not change. You’re allowed to wear anything and say anything and do anything and be anything.”

That echoes what she recently told Vanity Fair about fallout from the shoot.

"I did that Vogue cover and it was a genre that we were doing the shoot for. It was an old kind of Hollywood lingerie kind of classic thing. And it was supposed to be a specific aesthetic for a photo shoot and then it was like 'Billie Eilish's new style' and people kept being like 'Wow, her new style it’s so much better than the old style.' Or like, 'Wow, I wish that we could have her old style back, I'm so sad that she's just changed into this,'" she said.

"It was so weird because I was like, it's not a new style, it's one thing I wore and then I’m gonna wear this another day and then I'm gonna do this," she continued. "Literally the thing that I've been preaching about since I first started is wear what you want. Dress how you want, act how you want, talk how you want, be how you want. That's all I've ever said. It’s just being open to new things and not letting people ruin it for you."

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