Billie Eilish’s Vogue Photoshoot is Shaping the Women’s Sexuality Movement – “Don’t make me a role model because you’re turned on by me”

Pop-artist Billie Eilish recently came back to the internet with a flurry of punches; a new hair color, a new album, and the elephant in the room that’s been making shockwaves on the internet – a new Vogue photoshoot. Eilish has done Vogue photoshoots before, but never in the way that made this shoot so surprising for the artist.

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Logan Gee

“It’s about taking that power back, showing it off and not taking advantage with it.” (Billie Eilish, British Vogue)

Logan Gee, Writer

The Photoshoot

 Titled ‘It’s all about what makes you feel good,’ the Vogue shoot consists of Eilish in several different specially designed outfits from brands like Gucci, Burberry and Alexander Mcqueen; but the British Vogue team were the masterminds behind this shoot. All of the nine photos can be found on the British Vogue Instagram. In an Instagram post by Eilish, she said, “thank you for respecting my vision and making this come to life.” The outfits in this shoot are, to say the least, different from the norm and certainly resemblant of this new era of Billie Eilish. The star, whose style is known for particularly baggy clothing, made the change to wear much more revealing and ‘suggestive’ outfits in this particular shoot. 

“I think that it is amazing, but I think that a lot of people are just now realizing how beautiful she is. Why did it take her to wear revealing clothing to be seen this way?” Mikaela Hammond (‘21) said. “I think Billie is beautiful no matter what she wears, and good for her showing up everyone else!”

Controversy Arises

This change from loose-fitting tees to lingerie made some question why the artist took this sudden change in direction. A particularly critical take by Rebecca Davison on May 3 for MailOnline resembles much of what people are using to hurt Eilish for this photoshoot. “Proof that money can make you change your values and sell out,” the article said. Many fans of Eilish have pointed out the fallacies of this argument: Eilish still being a minor when her style was baggier, loose-fitting clothes, as well as that now she’s a legal adult and can do these kinds of things without controversy over her age. 

“I think people are overanalyzing it. It was a cool photoshoot. Billie isn’t “conforming” to some standard or rebranding entirely,” Katelyn Downey (‘24) said. “She simply participated in a photoshoot in which she dressed slightly less modest than usual.”

Even with the negativity that Eilish has faced, considering she is still known worldwide, many are incredibly supportive of her decision to reclaim her body in an unforgiving and courageous way. By taking offense because of how she decides to express herself and her body is not as demonstrative of Eilish, but of the people who are so offended by a person presenting themselves how they so desire. “Suddenly you’re a hypocrite if you want to show your skin, and you’re easy… If I am, then I’m proud of it,” Eilish said on a British Vogue Instagram post. “Let’s turn it around and be empowered in that.” 

“I think it’s really awesome that Billie Eilish is doing what she needs to do to feel good. You can tell she feels really good about experimenting with her style, and I really admire that she’s confident enough to mess around with her signature looks,” Isabella Weiler (‘22) said. “I think that she’s carrying a lot of good messages with her.” 

Overcoming Insecurities

Aside from breaking from her signature style, Eilish also has a past of being insecure about her body. This truth was revealed in her documentary The World’s A Little Blurry which talked about Eilish’s struggle with not only insecurity but tics and self-harm as well. With all of these mental and physical burdens weighing down on her, Eilish’s breakthrough in this photoshoot comes out even more powerfully.

“I think it’s good for younger girls who look up to her seeing her love herself as they should. Not to mention Billie is starting to feel good in her own skin after not liking how she looked most of her life,” Samantha Fairbridge (‘22) said.

Eilish at the Forefront of the Women’s Sexuality Movement

As a globally renowned celebrity, seeing Billie Eilish at the climax of the women’s sexuality and feminism movement is an incredibly powerful thing. Billie Eilish has been a prominent part of feminism as one of the biggest female artists out, and this photoshoot shows it.

A pitifully common opinion among many people, particularly men, is that women who dress in a certain way are ‘asking for it.’ In these few photos, Eilish demonstrates that a woman doesn’t need to be doing something to satisfy a man just to feel good about herself. Women don’t only exist for the pleasure of a man or the pleasure of anyone but themselves for that matter. After all, the shoot isn’t called ‘It’s all about what makes them feel good-‘

‘It’s all about what makes you feel good.’ 

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