Billie Eilish addresses ‘coming out’ media frenzy and asks people to ‘leave her alone’

Billie Eilish has said that she didn’t realise that it wasn’t widely known that she is attracted to women after appearing to come out during a recent interview.

The US pop star, 21, made a brief remark in her Variety cover story where she addressed her struggle to relate to other women, despite loving them and being attracted to them.

She was then asked about the comment on the red carpet for Variety’s Hitmakers event on Saturday 2 December, with a reporter asking if she meant to “come out”.

“No, I didn’t, but I kinda thought… wasn’t it obvious?” she said. “I just didn’t realise people didn’t know.”

She added that she doesn’t really believe in the concept of coming out: “I just don’t really believe in it… why can’t we just exist? I’ve been doing this for a long time and I just didn’t talk about… whoops.”

Asked about the reaction to her comment, the “Bad Guy” singer said: “I saw all the articles [and] was like, ‘Oh, I guess I came out today…ok cool.’

“But it’s exciting to me because I guess people didn’t know, so it’s cool that they know… I am for the girls.”

In a post to Instagram on Sunday 3 December, Eilish appeared to suggest she was irked by the red carpet questions, writing in the caption: “thanks variety for my award and for also outing me on a red carpet at 11am instead of talking about anything else that matters i like boys and girls leave me alone about it please literally who cares stream ‘what was i made for’ [sic].”

The accompanying photo appeared to show her seated on a toilet with her jeans pulled down, showing her belt buckle with two silhouettes crawling towards one another.

Elsewhere in the original Variety interview, Eilish spoke about her complex relationship with womanhood, and how that was affected by the strong reaction to her single “What Was I Made For”, which was composed for the Barbie film soundtrack.

After the film’s release, the scene where “What Was I Made For” featured sparked a TikTok trend involving video collages set to the song, with women sharing their own experiences of girlhood.

Describing the trend as “so moving”, Eilish then addressed the official music video for the song, where she unpacks a box of Barbie-sized versions of her most iconic looks, comprising oversized T-shirts and shorts.

Eilish said the visuals referenced her desire to maintain ownership over her body: “I didn’t want people to have access to my body, even visually. I wasn’t strong enough and secure enough to show it. If I had shown it at that time, I would have been completely devastated if people had said anything.”

“Maybe my not really caring about being sexualized is because I’ve never felt desired or desirable,” she continued.

“I’ve never felt like a woman, to be honest with you. I’ve never felt desirable. I’ve never felt feminine. I have to convince myself that I’m, like, a pretty girl. I identify as ‘she/her’ and things like that, but I’ve never really felt like a girl.”

Billie Eilish (Doug Peters/PA) (PA Wire)
Billie Eilish (Doug Peters/PA) (PA Wire)

Eilish has previously addressed the intense media scrutiny over her body that first transpired when she shot to fame aged 17, with her record-breaking hit single “Bad Guy”.

During the first show of her 2020 world tour in Miami, she debuted a video that was projected onto the big screens at the venue.

The footage showed Eilish removing several layers of clothing until she was left wearing a bra, before she sank under water.

“You have opinions about my opinions; about my music; about my clothes; about my body,” a clip of her voice said.

“Some people hate what I wear; some people praise it; some people use it to shame others; some people use it to shame me, but I feel you watching.

“Would you like me to be smaller? Weaker? Softer? Taller? Would you like me to be quiet? Do my shoulders provoke you? Does my chest? Am I my stomach? My hips?”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Eilish continued by highlighting the conflicting messages she receives about her body, stating: “The body I was born with – is it not what you wanted? If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I’m a slut. Though you’ve never seen my body, you still judge it and judge me for it. Why?”

“I have big boobs. I’ve had big boobs since I was nine years old, and that’s just the way I am,” Eilish told Variety. “That’s how I look. You wear something that’s at all revealing, and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, but you didn’t want people to sexualise you? You can suck my ass! I’m literally a being that is sexual sometimes. F*** you!”

Eilish is up for a number of awards at next year’s Grammys, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year with “What Was I Made For”. She is also considered a strong contender for a Best Song nomination at the Oscars, also for her Barbie soundtrack contribution.