Years ago, Billie Eilish used diet pills and started “starving” herself due to her “hatred” for her body. While the 19-year-old singer is now in a much better place, she admitted in a new cover story with Vanity Fair that her struggles with body image haven’t always been easy to manage.
The Grammy-winning artist has been vocal about body image issues in the past, having slammed trolls for body-shaming her on multiple occasions. She has also revealed that her experiences with body-shaming are part of the reason for her signature look of baggy, loose-fitting clothes. “To be quite honest with you, I only started wearing baggy clothes because of my body,” the “Therefore I Am” singer reiterated to Vanity Fair for their March 2021 issue. Even beyond fashion, however, Eilish went on to reveal just how much her relationship to her body impacted her life—both now, and as a child.
“I was, like, starving myself,” Eilish admitted. “I remember taking a pill that told me that it would make me lose weight, and it only made me pee the bed—when I was 12. It’s just crazy. I can’t even believe, like I—wow. Yeah. 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. So that’s great.”
Eilish also spoke about being body-shamed online, seemingly referring to an October 2020 photo of her that went viral. In the photo, Eilish could be seen wearing a tight-fitting tank top. Unfortunately, trolls criticized the star for her appearance—and that was an experience Eilish says she’s “glad” didn’t happen years ago. “I was really, really glad though, mainly, that I’m in this place in my life, because if that had happened three years ago, when I was in the midst of my horrible body relationship—or dancing a ton, five years ago, I wasn’t really eating.”
After the viral response to her photo, Eilish also addressed the trolls for herself. The “Bad Guy” star took to Instagram to re-share an Instagram Reel by YouTuber Chizi Duru. “Y’all gotta start normalizing real bodies, OK?” Duru can be heard saying in the clip. “Not everybody has a wagon behind them, OK? Guts are normal—they’re normal. Boobs sag, especially after breastfeeding. Instagram isn’t real.”