The Feminist Message of Billie Eilish’s Fashion

Posted on 8 June 2020
By Dana Andersen
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With her staples of oversized basketball shorts, t-shirts long enough to be dresses, and frequently changing hair colours, Billie Eilish is someone that stands out in a crowd. Especially in the Hollywood crowd we usually see in tailored dresses, or tight leggings while they run errands with paparazzi trailing behind.

For everyone, celebrity or otherwise, fashion is the most visible way to express yourself. Aside from visibly often being big, bright, and bold, Eilish also uses her fashion choices to hide her body. By wearing oversized clothing, none of us can say for sure what her body looks like, which she has pointed out as one of the reasons behind her fashion choices in interviews. That hasn’t stopped people from finding the few pictures of her dressed in more form fitting outfits though, even before she turned 18.

But by keeping the general public from having truly seen how she looks, she retains judgement on her body exclusively for herself, and also maintains the possibility of pulling a Hannah Montana, throw a wig and a normal outfit on her and its unlikely anyone would realise if Billie Eilish walked past them on the street.

Outside of keeping her body for herself, the way she chooses to dress also amplifies her voice. Theres no discussion in the tabloids of if she’s lost or gained weight, if she’s proportional enough, or tanned enough, or the million other ways the media chooses to judge the bodies of young women. If someone wants to report on her, it has to be about her music, something she has said, or the actual outfit she’s wearing, with no regard to her body type. Considering how outspoken she is on the things she believes in, such as the Black Lives Matter movement most recently, its definitely for the best that her words truly speak louder than her looks.

By dressing in the way she does, Billie has bought about a trend of women feeling more comfortable, and more able, to dress in ways that don’t ‘flatter their body type’ or ‘show off the assets’, and wearing more typically masculine clothes like long shorts. Her designer brands, and expensive jewellery, may not be obtainable to the general person, but her message of dressing for yourself certainly is.

Perhaps most importantly, the message of dressing for yourself doesn’t mean dressing like Eilish, and she’s made that clear on social media more than once. Theres no judgement or disrespect aimed at those that do wear more formfitting, or typically ‘sexy’, clothing, its just assumed that they’re dressing for themselves in that way, and thats an equally good thing.