In a new interview with i-D, Billie Eilish opened up about ‘Happier Than Ever’ and why she thinks role models need to be realistic.
Billie Eilish is one of the most famous people on the planet. In fact, most would call her a ‘role model’, given her vocal support for social issues and her efforts to promote body positivity. Turns out, while Eilish doesn’t have a problem with the term itself, she is wary of the unattainable standards it may inspire.
In a chat with Stormzy for i-D, Eilish spoke about role models needed to be realistic, especially for young kids.
“I think that’s what [human] a role model needs to be. It should be realistic,” she told Stormzy, who took issue with how the internet puts artists on a pedestal.
“The problem is when people have unattainable role models, or dream of an unattainable life, or an unattainable face and an unattainable body, and that’s not healthy, for kids especially. We’re all real people.” she claimed, adding that casting celebrities as ‘role models’ also takes away from their personal identities.
“I think when people see celebrities on the internet, or social media, they don’t see them as real people or human beings – and I catch myself doing this too – they see them as characters. When really we’re all just random people in our cars trying to keep it together.” she said.
Of course, Eilish was not ignorant of her own position on social media. As one of the most followed teens on the internet, she’s quickly become wary of navigating the complexities of the digital world.
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“It’s tough and I’m still figuring it out. I like the internet. I like memes and shit like that. But no matter what I do, I can’t avoid myself. I’m everywhere.” she told Stormzy.
“But I don’t want to read about Billie Eilish doing this or that from someone who doesn’t know shit about me. Like, please. I want to make music. I get annoyed about it. But it’s funny. Why do people need to have an opinion about everything I do or say or wear or look like and fucking feel?” she continued.
She also touched on why her fame made social media a double-edged sword: while she definitely has more privilege than many others, it’s also hard to make a difference when she feels like she’s speaking into a void.
“I feel for the people who have such strong determination to change the world but aren’t afforded the same privileges as me.” she said.
“But then of course artists should be allowed to just make art. I don’t want to be cocky but I feel like I have done, or at least I’ve tried, to spread, as you say, love and positivity, and I’ve gone out of my way to use my platform to the best of my ability, and often I don’t think anyone gives a shit. You try to help and spread a message but someone’s still going to call you a fat cow in the comments.” she said.
You can read more about this topic over at the Pop Observer.