Who else did a doubletake at Billie Eilish’s fashion and “trapped persona” quote? The 18-year-old pop star was interviewed for a new British GQ profile, published on June 4, where she opened up about her real reason for wearing “baggy clothes.” We’ll get into what she said in full in a second, but let’s just say first that Billie’s explanation warrants a necessary conversation about her continued costuming of Black culture—from her hip-hop tracksuits and Cuban link chains, to her long acrylics and accent.
The “everything i wanted” singer has already opened up about her fashion choices in the past. In May 2019, she admitted she prefers to wear “baggy clothes” to avoid comments about her body and appearance. “That’s why I wear baggy clothes,” she said in a Calvin Klein ad at the time. “Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath.”
While Billie has since grown more vocal about her struggles with body-shamers (she even stuck it to ’em by taking her shirt off at a concert recently), she’s still addressing her fashion choices from this perspective. Now, there’s an added layer: Her style is in no small part due to the fact that she “never felt desired” by partners in the past.
“Here’s a bomb for you: I have never felt desired. My past boyfriends never made me feel desired. None of them,” Billie told British GQ. “So I dress the way I dress as I don’t like to think of you guys—I mean anyone, everyone—judging [my body], or the size of it.”
She went on to add, “Sometimes I dress like a boy. Sometimes I dress like a swaggy girl. And sometimes I feel trapped by this persona that I have created, because sometimes I think people view me not as a woman.”
Nobody can discount Billie’s experience with body-shamers, or her worries about being judged for her appearance. But there’s more to her “persona” than what Billie claims to have “created.” Her fashion sense, which runs the gamut from luxury sweatsuit sets and oversized windbreakers, to rare sneakers and long acrylic nail sets, is a credit to the Black hip-hop community (you know, the same one that Billie awkwardly called out in February, over rappers who are apparently “lying” in their music). Let’s not forget that part, too.