It’s quite ironic that the 19-year-old singer and songwriter, Billie Eilish, known for hiding her body under baggy clothing, got slammed with hateful comments about her body size, just as soon as she let her guard down.
“There’s this picture of me running from my car to my brother’s front door, on like a 110 degree day, in a tank top and everyone was like ‘Damn Billie got fat!’ and I’m like nope, this is just how I look, you’ve just never seen it before,” said Eilish in an interview with Vanity Fair.
However, instead of cowering away from the hateful body-shaming responses, Billie Eilish continues to fight for body positivity with her newest album, “Happier Than Ever”, released on July 30. In the album, the young star covers all the sincere issues that she’s experienced since her quick rise to stardom at merely 16 and expresses her feelings about an audiences’ eyes being on her all the time.
One of the most notable songs in her album, “Not My Responsibility”, explores people’s outside perceptions of her, her body, appearance and personality. This song’s four-minute music video is the one that Eilish included in all of her concerts to show all her fans the exact type of body-shaming she faces.
The song is powerful, with the coolness of her voice vibrating through you as she refers to people calling her a “slut”, and how people dissect her body when it’s not theirs to tear apart. One of the lyrics in the low-tuned, chilling song is “Is my value based only on your perception? Or is your opinion of me not my responsibility?”
The essence of songs like these that are included in the album makes the title seem a bit sardonic and sarcastic. Eilish explores all the faults of fame, and how to the outside world, she has to seem happy and the picture of perfection.
This is one of the reasons Eilish’s music is so prominent in the current generation. Her songs and albums represent real-life problems that not a lot of famous stars have the courage to open up about. In this album specifically, she explores topics of mental health, betrayal, abuse, body-shaming and loneliness.
The album starts off with a tough, longing tone in “Getting Older”. The steady beat and silent chuckles that she uses in the song sends goosebumps throughout your body. In this song, the notable quote, “Things I once enjoyed, just keep me employed now” represents the struggles with fame at such a young age that Eilish has shown in her documentary, “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry”.
The album then transitions into a few faster-paced songs like “Billie Boss Nova”. The song has a sexy feel with a smooth beat that grabs the listeners’ attention with its catchy chorus.
When the song “My Future” starts, everyone is expecting a low ballad with Eilish’s pure, angelic vocals vibrating through their ears. And then bang—she pulls a beat shift halfway through the song. The iconic transition from a low melody to a beatbox feel is one Eilish performs beautifully.
“Goldwing”, a personal favorite, has an intro based on the classical composer Gustav Holst’s hymn from the Hindu Sanscripts known as the “Rig Veda”, according to Classic FM. The song starts off in a slow-paced, classic opera feel, with the lightness of the vocals harmonizing in your ears. Then a few seconds of complete quiet hits the song, before a slow rise of the new beat reemerges, this time into a thumping tone with echoing vocals in the background.
After jamming out to songs like “Goldwing”, Eilish puts her fans into their feelings with the aching, slow tune of “Everybody Dies”.
Suddenly, everyone listening is feeling the pain Eilish portrays, her lyrics describing the slow loss of hope on the idea of why we’re still here and why we’re still fighting.
The next one is definitely a heartbreaker that you can cry to at 3 a.m.
“Your Power” was released on April 29, three months before the rest of the album was released, and it was a big hit from the start. The song’s lyrics express the pain of a one-sided relationship through a guitar-based melody. One of the lines, “I thought that I was special” hits home for a lot of listeners.
Finally, the current most listened-to song on the album, according to Spotify, is “Happier Than Ever” with 149 million listens, on the streaming platform alone. There is a slow guitar tune at the beginning, and Eilish’s heavenly, whispered vocals put listeners into a trance as she discusses the feeling of being better off without an unnamed love interest.
The guitar’s steady strums pick up the pace, and the sweet melody turns into a rock song, with an electric guitar and a pair of drums in the background accompanying Eilish screaming the lyrics. The artist hits her fans with one of her most powerful songs, allowing listeners to feel her anger and betrayal right alongside her—especially when she screams the lyrics, “Just f***ing leave me alone!”
The music continues in the same rock tone as the lyrics fade and all you hear is her hallowed screams in the background. The track really sets the mood to let her release all of the emotions she’s kept hidden away. It was shocking yet phenomenal to be able to see the raw emotions behind the young musician.
It is truly incredible to say that we’ve been able to watch Eilish grow into a wonderful musician, full of truth and wisdom, even though she is still so young. Eilish has only lived in this world for 19 years, and yet she inspires people from all over to hear her and show them that their pain in any matter is valid.
Jaedyn Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jaedyn_young3.