After Billie Eilish lost followers after embracing her ‘feminine’ side, Madonna clapped back at the haters, saying if she were a man, no one would care what she wore.
“The problem is, we still live in a very sexist world where women are put into categories,” says Madonna in the Elle feature about Billie Eilish, specifically about Billie, 19, embracing her sexual side. After years of keeping her figure hidden, Billie posed in lingerie for the cover of British Vogue, which oddly drew some criticism from her fans. Madonna, 63, isn’t having any of this. While discussing Billie, Madge told Elle that women are either placed “in the virgin category or the w***e category. Billie started out 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?” asks the “Like A Virgin” singer. “Women should be able to portray themselves in any way they want. 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.”
Billie told Elle that she’s faced some blowback ever since she’s shifted her wardrobe. After she posted an Instagram photo of her wearing a Miaou tomato-print corset with a lace bra peeking out, trolls called her “disingenuous” and suggested that the music “industry really changed you.” Billie said that some of her fans “hold on to these memories and have an attachment. But it’s very dehumanizing.” She added that she “lost 100,000 followers, just because of the boobs,” referring to the corset photo with a “rueful” laugh. “People are scared of big boobs.”
Though Billie has embraced this new style, she told The Guardian that she still struggles with self-image issues. “I’m obviously not happy with my body…but who is?” she said. “I mean, I’m very confident in who I am, and I’m very happy with my life. “I see people online, looking like I’ve never looked. And immediately, I am like, ‘oh my God, how do they look like that?’ I know the ins and outs of this industry and what people actually use in photos, and I actually know what looks real can be fake. Yet I still see it and go, ‘oh God, that makes me feel really bad.'”