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Billie Eilish has shrugged off the obsessive speculation over her sexuality, insisting that “it’s no one else’s business” but her own.
The 19-year-old’s sexuality was relentlessly scrutinised earlier this year when she was accused of “queerbaiting” in the video for her single “Lost Cause”, which shows her dancing and playing at a slumber party with a group of girls.
The singer responded to the backlash by posting a series of shots from the video on Instagram with the simple caption “I love girls,” which only drove further speculation online.
In a new interview with Elle, Billie Eilish discussed the intense obsession with her sexuality and questioned why there isn’t a similar focus on the sex lives of male stars.
“Like, oh yeah, that’s everyone else’s business, right?” she said. “No. Where’s that energy with men?”
She said that she never invited the focus on her personal life and was initially blindsided by the relentless drumbeat of criticism that comes with being in the public eye.
“I just wanted to make a song once, and then I kept making songs. I never said: ‘Hey, pay attention to my life.’ All my friends know I don’t wanna see any of [the negative chatter]. When people send me something mean, it hurts my soul.”
It’s no surprise that the star feels burned out on social media and wishes that she didn’t have to maintain an online presence.
“I’m jealous of people who don’t have it. I really wish that there was a way to avoid it. Literally delete my account but still have contact with the fans,” Eilish admitted. “I want to be able to have both, but you can’t.”
The constant spotlight of fame was partly why she made the decision to change her trademark black and green hair earlier this year.
“I couldn’t go anywhere with that hair because it was so obviously me. I wanted anonymity,” she explained. “I went to a park with a friend [after going blonde], and I was like, ‘No, I can’t take off my hood!’
“But my friend was like: ‘Don’t worry: You’re okay. Nothing’s gonna happen.’ And I took my hood off, and I felt like a new person. I had no goal of ‘This is going to make everybody think differently of me’. I’ve had different-coloured hair and vibes for everything I’ve ever done.
“I’m still the same person. I’m not just different Barbies with different heads.”