Billie Eilish: abuse of minors is ‘everywhere’

US singer, 19, made claim in Vogue interview when discussing new single about abusive relationship

Billie Eilish has spoken about the prevalence of sexual exploitation of minors in an interview, saying “it’s everywhere”.

Speaking about her new single, Your Power, which addresses an abusive relationship between a minor and an older person, the 19-year-old singer said all her peers had experienced some sort of sexual impropriety.

In an interview in the June issue of British Vogue, she said: “[The song is] really not about one person. You might think, ‘it’s because she’s in the music industry’, no dude. It’s everywhere,” she says. “I don’t know one girl or woman who hasn’t had a weird experience or a really bad experience. And men too – young boys are taken advantage of constantly.”

She adds: “It doesn’t matter who you are, what your life is, your situation, who you surround yourself with, how strong you are, how smart you are. You can always be taken advantage of. That’s a big problem in the world of domestic abuse or statutory rape – girls that were very confident and strong-willed finding themselves in situations where they’re like, ‘oh my god, I’m the victim here?’ And it’s so embarrassing and humiliating and demoralising to be in that position of thinking you know so much and then you realise, I’m being abused right now.”

Billy Eilish, Vogue cover
Billy Eilish on the cover of Vogue’s June issue. Photograph: Craig McDean/Vogue/Conde Nast

In the interview Eilish also spoke about body positivity. The singer, who is known for her baggy clothes and covered-up style, appears on the cover wearing a custom Gucci corset and skirt with an Agent Provocateur bra, accessorised with latex gloves. The shoot, which was Eilish’s idea, was inspired by classic pinups like Betty Brosmer and the photographs of Elmer Batters, which featured models in stockings.

“Showing your body and showing your skin – or not – should not take away any respect from you,” she said. “It’s all about what makes you feel good. If you want to get surgery, go get surgery. If you want to wear a dress that somebody thinks that you look too big wearing, fuck it. If you feel like you look good, you look good.”

On Instagram, the singer wrote: “I love these pictures and I loved doing this shoot. Do whatever you want whenever you want.”

In a 2019 advert for Calvin Klein, Eilish explained her signature baggy clothing style. “I never want the world to know everything about me,” she said, “I mean that’s why I wear big, baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath, you know? Nobody can be like, ‘oh she’s slim-thick, she’s got a flat ass, she’s got a fat ass,’ No one can say any of that because they don’t know.”

• The headline of this article was amended on 3 May 2021 to better reflect the text of the story.

Contributor

Priya Elan Deputy fashion editor

The GuardianTramp

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