Billie Eilish Calls Out Double Standards in Hollywood: "Where's That Energy With Men?"

In a new cover story for Elle, Billie Eilish talks about the scrutiny she faces over what she wears, and Madonna calls out Hollywood's double standard.

By Elyse Dupre Sep 23, 2021 3:26 PMTags
Watch: Billie Eilish's Marilyn Monroe-Inspired Dress Stuns at 2021 Met Gala

Everyone seems to have an opinion about Billie Eilish.

Ever since she burst onto the scene at the age of 13 with "Ocean Eyes," the now 19-year-old singer has faced public scrutiny on everything from the music she releases to the clothes she wears.   

"Or my sexuality!" she said in an interview for Elle's October 2021 issue. "Like, oh yeah, that's everyone else's business, right? No. Where's that energy with men?"

As Eilish told the outlet, she never yearned for a life in the spotlight. "I just wanted to make a song once, and then I kept making songs. I never said, ‘Hey, pay attention to my life,'" she noted. "All my friends know I don't wanna see any of [the negative chatter]. When people send me something mean, it hurts my soul."   

Take the comments over her apparel, for instance. For years, Eilish wore baggy clothing so people couldn't see her body and, therefore, couldn't comment on it. Recently, Eilish has been experimenting with new looks. Whether it's the Marilyn Monroe-inspired Oscar de la Renta gown she wore to the Met Gala or the custom Valentino corset she wore for British Vogue, the artist enjoys switching up her style. And while she slays in no matter what she wears, it appears some followers have taken issue with this change.

"People hold on to these memories and have an attachment," Eilish shared. "But it's very dehumanizing." 

Billie Eilish's Most Relatable Moments

She even noticed a dip in her social media following after she posted a picture of herself wearing a Miaou corset and lace bra to Instagram. "I lost 100,000 followers, just because of the boobs," she told the magazine. "People are scared of big boobs."

Theo Wargo/Getty Images

It seems that no matter what the "bad guy" star wears people feel the need to give their take. "The other day, I decided to wear a tank top. It wasn't even a provocative shirt. But I know people are going to say, ‘Holy f--k, she's dressing sexy and trying to make a statement,'" she continued. "And I'm like, ‘No, I'm not. It's 500 degrees and I just want to wear a tank top.'" 

However, Eilish and other industry legends aren't afraid to call out this double standard.

"The problem is, we still live in a very sexist world where women are put into categories," Madonna told Elle. "You're either in the virgin category or the whore category. Billie started off in a non-sexualized category, not pandering to the masses and not using her sexuality in any way, which is her choice and God bless her for that—after all, she's been a teenager all this time. [But] if she wants to turn around and take photographs where she is portrayed as a feminine woman, showing her body in a way that she hasn't in the past, then why should she be punished for it?"

"Women should be able to portray themselves in any way they want," Madonna continued. "If Billie were a man, no one would be writing about this. A man can show up dressed in a suit and tie for the first three years of his career, and then the next month he could be dressed like Prince or Mick Jagger, shirt off, wearing eyeliner, and no one would say a word."

For the latest breaking news updates, click here to download the E! News App