“If I was a guy and I was wearing these clothes, nobody would bat an eye”: Billie Eilish addresses sexism

"I barely go on Instagram because I can't handle that shit"

Billie Eilish has addressed the pressures of her fame and her experiences with sexist comments online.

The 17-year-old rising star was speaking to NME for this week’s Big Read, after being named among the NME 100 of the best new artists set to dominate 2019. In the interview, she spoke at length about her experiences with online trolls after rising to fame in her teens.

“Hell yeah,” she told NME, when asked whether she thought she was more likely to be harassed online because of her gender. “I’ve spoken a lot to female artists about this, because if you’re not a female artist you probably don’t think about this.


“If I was a guy and I was wearing these baggy clothes, nobody would bat an eye. There’s people out there saying, ‘Dress like a girl for once! Wear tight clothes you’d be much prettier and your career would be so much better!’ No it wouldn’t. It literally would not.”

Eilish went on to say that the realities of fame have led her to use social media far less than she used to. “I used to read every single comment and every picture I was tagged in and respond to every single DM, but now I barely go on Instagram because I can’t handle that shit,” she said.

“Fuck that shit. I just don’t wanna see all the horrible things people say. I don’t wanna see that I should have died instead of this artist. It takes not looking at my phone to stop myself from engaging. I had to delete Twitter in March because of it. Nobody is going to win. If somebody said something to me in person, I’d beat their ass.”

“This industry is fucking horrible, but if I wasn’t doing this I would probably be miserable because this is always what I’ve wanted,” said Eilish, who turned 17 last month. “No matter how horrible fame is and how horrible this and that is: a lot of things make all of this worth it, y’know?”


The NME 100 covers everything from drill to indie via punk and metal – with a little flamenco for good measure.

Former NME Big Read star Slowthai made the cut, as did rapper Headie One, Dublin punks Fontaines DC, British singer-songwriter Jade Bird and reggaeton hero Bad Gyal. And there’s a lot, lot more where that came from.

Check out the full NME 100 here

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