Billie Eilish, one of the biggest pop stars on the planet at the moment, opened up her world tour on Monday night by giving fans a rare glimpse at her unclothed body.
The teen sensation’s exaggeratedly baggy style has become almost as recognizable as her emotional neogoth anthems.
That’s why the video Eilish played for her 20,000 screaming fans at American Airlines Arena in Miami on Monday came as such a shock.
In the footage, which played on screens across the stadium, the 18-year-old is seen removing her top as she voices her thoughts about body shaming.
“Some people hate what I wear, some people praise it,” she said in the clip. “Some people use it to shame others, some people use it to shame me. But I feel you watching, always. And nothing I do goes unseen.”
Eilish, who has said in the past that she wears baggy clothes to avoid being objectified, continued her on-stage monologue by railing against patriarchal judgment and sexism.
“If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I am a sl*t,” Eilish said. “Though you’ve never seen my body, you still judge it and judge me for it. Why?”
The crowd responded with raucous cheers.
Fans not fortunate enough to attend the concert in person were similarly thrilled.
— a 78 (@ILOMIL0S) March 10, 2020
“Empowering,” tweeted one Eilish aficionado on social media.
Billie Eilish, superstar
In January, Eilish swept the Grammys by taking the four top prizes— best album, best record, song of the year and best new artist — becoming only the second musician to win all four categories on the same night.
Eilish wrote and recorded most of her debut studio album — “When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” — with her brother, Finneas, 22, in the small bedroom of their Los Angeles-area home.
The album, including such hits as “When the Party’s Over,” “Everything I Wanted” and “Bad Guy,” ranked as the No. 1 album of 2019.
Eilish has taken pains to position herself as a grittier alternative to the glamour and polish of other mainstream pop stars.
“I could easily just be like, you know what, you’re going to pick out my clothes, someone else will come up with my video treatments, someone else will direct them and I won’t have anything to do with them,” Eilish told The New York Times last year. “Someone else write my music, someone else produce it, and I won’t say anything about it. Someone else run my Instagram.”
“Everything could be easier if I wanted it to,” she added. “But I’m not that kind of person and I’m not that kind of artist. And I’d rather die than be that kind of artist.”
The Times bought into the hype, declaring in early 2019 that “Billie Eilish Is Not Your Typical 17-Year-Old Pop Star.”
But others see Eilish as representative of the type of reflexive faux-rebellion common among angsty teens.
(Reuters contributed to this report.)