Billie Eilish shares her struggles with body dysmorphia

Catriona Harvey-Jenner
Photo credit: Mark Sagliocco - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

At 17-years-old, Billie Eilish is the first singer with a chart-topping album to have been born this millennium. With 2 billion streams and more than 34 million Instagram followers under her belt, she's living a completely extraordinary life.

But in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Eilish reveals that - where body insecurities are concerned - she suffers in similar ways to the rest of us.

In the cover interview, Billie Eilish opened up about how her lack of body confidence ultimately became body dysmorphia. The issues started when, at 12-years-old, Eilish joined a competitive dance company. It was filled with "really pretty girls", she says.

"That was probably when I was the most insecure. I wasn’t as confident. I couldn’t speak and just be normal," the singer reflects. "When I think about it or see pictures of me then, I was so not OK with who I was."

That, mixed with the outfits she was required to wear for dance, proved a damaging combination. "At dance, you wear really tiny clothes, and I’ve never felt comfortable in really tiny clothes. I was always worried about my appearance.

"That was the peak of my body dysmorphia," Eilish says, admitting: "I couldn't look in the mirror at all."

Body dysmorphia is a mental health condition that causes a person to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about their appearance. The flaws they fixate on, however, rarely tend to be obvious to others.

The issues Billie Eilish was having with her body image began to spill into her general wellbeing, and by age 13, she says things felt "pretty rough" for her.

"All I can think of is how miserable I was. How completely distraught and confused. Thirteen to 16 was pretty rough," Eilish admits.

Her 17th year has been a brighter one, however. "I haven’t been depressed in a minute, which is great. Seventeen has probably been the best year of my life. I’ve liked 17," the singer says.

The distance from her body dysmorphia and depression has given Billie Eilish a perspective that's valuable to other young women.

"Sometimes I see girls at my shows with scars on their arms, and it breaks my heart," comments the singer. "I don’t have scars anymore because it was so long ago. But I’ve said to a couple of them, 'Just be nice to yourself.'

"Because I know. I was there."

You can read Billie Eilish's cover interview with Rolling Stone in full here.

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