Eilish: The Road to Body Normativity

Billie Eilish wearing normal people clothes is not brave

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Hans Watson

Last week, paparazzi photos of 18-year-old singer Billie Eilish were released. Since then, people have started to pick apart her body shape and clothing: a tight camisole tank top and shorts that look like they’re from H&M. Some people are attacking her and saying she has a “mid-30’s mom body” while others think she’s “brave” for wearing something so revealing in public. This made my blood boil. She’s not “brave”; she’s normal.  

In the past, Eilish has been an advocate for not overly sexualizing female bodies. She purposefully wears baggy clothes to make sure this doesn’t happen, yet here we are. One paparazzi photo, and she’s being sexualized or attacked all over the media. It’s like celebrities aren’t allowed to be normal. Honestly, the comments that I’ve been seeing from many people about her have been extremely frustrating. Who cares what she looks like? I can assure you that she doesn’t.  

The comments about her being “brave” are the comments that sparked the most thinking in me. I bet that she didn’t even think about being brave when she left the house. She was probably thinking about where she was going, not what she was wearing. Why should she be seen as brave for something that normal people do every day? Wearing normal clothes shouldn’t be seen as brave; in fact, they shouldn’t be the center of attention at all. I agree that focusing on body positivity is a good idea, but we should also be focusing on body normativity. Honestly, we should be focusing on it more than body positivity.  

I always see people praising bigger girls for wearing something that big girls normally wouldn’t wear. I wonder if we would do the same to skinny girls. When we call big girls brave for wearing clothes “made” for skinny girls, we are acknowledging that they shouldn’t be wearing clothes like that. We are heightening the narrative that only certain body types should wear certain clothes or show off their body, and we are going against everything that body positivity is for. Instead of calling girls brave for wearing certain clothes, we should just say that we like the outfit or call them beautiful. Better yet, we shouldn’t say anything. Would we compliment a skinny girl’s choice of clothing, unless we like their style? No. Because it’s normal for them to wear most clothing types.  

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be body positive. We as a society are getting so much closer to accepting everyone’s bodies, but it’s time for us to start accepting things as normal. We have a long way to go, and it starts with body normativity. Billie Eilish and Lizzo aren’t being brave for wearing revealing clothes; they’re being normal human beings.