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Billie Eilish reflects on uproar over lingerie-clad British Vogue cover: 'Dress how you want'

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Billie Eilish is reflecting on how her appearance has changed throughout the years of her fame, after debuting blonde hair in 2021 and what people assumed was an entirely new style with her internet-breaking British Vogue cover.

The 19-year-old returned to Vanity Fair for the fifth year of her annual video interview where she answers the same questions year after year as she grows older and more successful. In her latest interview, she spoke about how she's embracing different styles of clothing and how her June cover seemingly solidified that.

"I did that Vogue cover and it was a genre that we were doing the shoot for. It was an old kind of Hollywood lingerie kind of classic thing. And it was supposed to be a specific aesthetic for a photoshoot and then it was like 'Billie Eilish's new style' and people kept being like 'Wow, her new style it’s so much better than the old style.' Or like, 'Wow, I wish that we could have her old style back, I'm so sad that she's just changed into this,'" she said.

The shoot featured Eilish in various corsets and pieces of lingerie made by designers like Gucci, Burberry and Mugler. Although it was a departure from what people are used to seeing the young woman wearing, she went on to say that it wasn't meant to be an indication of a new era of clothing choices.

"It was so weird because I was like, it's not a new style, it's one thing I wore and then I’m gonna wear this another day and then I'm gonna do this," she said in the video. "Literally the thing that I've been preaching about since I first started is wear what you want. Dress how you want, act how you want, talk how you want, be how you want. That's all I've ever said. It’s just being open to new things and not letting people ruin it for you."

In the months since the magazine spread came out, Eilish has stuck to her new "anything goes" approach to style as she's worn her signature baggy clothing while also experimenting with more feminine looks — notably, her Oscar de la Renta gown on the Met Gala red carpet. She's also spoken up about how her more mature fashion has alienated some fans who aren't used to the singer showing any skin. "I lost 100,000 followers, just because of the boobs," she told Elle about the aftermath of the Vogue photos. "People are scared of big boobs."

Still, having people express disinterest or disapproval in some of her choices has made Eilish feel less pressure when it comes to pleasing her fans. 

"I was more loved. I was pretty overall like loved, I would say, to be honest. And so I was like scared because I wanted to keep that love," she told Vanity Fair of her younger self. "And now, tons of people hate me, so I'm not worried anymore. I'm like, OK well, if you like me, you like me. If you don't, you don't, so."

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