In her Vogue cover story, published January 4, Billie Eilish opens up about feeling betrayed and alienated by her body, especially after the growth plate injury at age 13 that ended her dancing ambitions. She subsequently endured more lower-body injuries, followed by misdiagnoses, before a movement coach revealed to Eilish she has a condition called hypermobility.
“Going through my teenage years of hating myself and all that stupid shit. A lot of it came from my anger toward my body,” she says. “I felt like my body was gaslighting me for years.”
With her dreams of dancing dashed, she turned to music, but she continued to have a fraught relationship with her body. Eilish, who made oversized, baggy clothing her signature style for the early era of her career, later said she wore her oversized clothes as a form of protection from critics. In a 2019 Calvin Klein campaign, she shared, “I mean, that’s why I wear big, baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath.”
On her 18th birthday, Eilish decided to change up her style and told Elle. “I’m gonna be a woman. I wanna show my body.” In May 2021, Eilish debuted a fresh blonde cut and revealing corset in a shoot with British Vogue, marking a new era of Billie Eilish that felt like a coming of age. Her confidence blossomed over time, and she grew comfortable shedding skin.