Billie Eilish’s “scandal” shows body shaming still a problem

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another teen girl violates society’s dress code

Billie Eilish made big news this week. She did the unimaginable – she went outside in a TANK TOP?! Can you believe that this 18-year old woman dared to leave her home in clothes that she felt comfortable in? How can we, as a society, have any respect for her anymore after she did something like this?

 I am totally not being serious. 

Eilish has been trolled quite a lot this past week because she was photographed in public wearing clothing that is unlike what we usually see her in – the baggy hoodies, big jackets, high neck tops, and baggy pants. Instead, she wore a camisole, shorts, socks and slides. I personally take more issue with the socks and slides than the tank top.  

As a young woman, 18, Eilish has said in previous interviews that she dresses is such big and baggy clothes because she does not want to be sexualized or have her body be talked about by the entire world – and yet here we are.

From as young as the age of 4, girls are sexualized like this in all areas of society. Part of the pattern is the dress codes imposed by schools, which tell girls to cover up so they do not “distract the boys or male teachers.” What I have never understood is: why are girls being taught to cover up, while young boys are not taught to keep their eyes, comments, and hands to themselves? This makes girls feel uncomfortable and unsafe in their own skin, making them question what they wear and the possible consequences for the rest of their life. If you wear too much, you’re not desirable and a prude, but if you wear something too revealing, you’re a slut. It is a never-ending cycle that women like Eilish, deal with their entire life. 

Eilish wearing a tank top should not have been in the news at all. It was just a reason for people to be able to put her down for having a less than “ideal” body.

The media in our world has created an unhealthy image of what a person is supposed to look like; this is something that goes for both women and men. There are kids around 14 years old who are developing poor relationships with food and exercise, because they want to look thin like Charli D’Amileo and Taylor Holder. The unhealthy, unrealistic obsession with being “perfect” has caused people to body shame and bully those who are not 5’5” and 120lbs. This is not okay. We need to be lifting others up and building confidence for one another when it comes to the diversity of bodies,rather than tearing each other down. 

Eilish, along with every young person, should be able to go out in whatever she feels comfortable and confident in, and should not be facing the hate and judgement that the internet has given her recently. The comments made put added pressure on Eilish and will likely make her second guess what she is wearing the next time she is leaving the house. No woman nor anyone else should have to deal with body shaming, yet I cannot imagine what it would be like in Eilish’s position when the entire world is looking at you. 

We need to focus on a different narrative showing that there are many versions of a healthy body. What you see on Instagram or Facebook is not the only way there is to be, so do not look down on yourself for not looking like Kim Kardashian – leave being Kim K to Kim, and you focus on being you.

Reese Estwick

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