Billie Eilish may have written the female anthem of the year, but she has “never felt like a woman.”
In a new interview, the Grammy-award winning singer, 21, spoke about her physicality and femininity.
“I’ve never really felt like I could relate to girls very well,” she said. “I love them so much. I love them as people. I’m attracted to them as people.”
“I’m physically attracted to them,” Eilish added. “But I’m also so intimidated by them and their beauty and their presence.”
Eilish, who scored her first breakout hit at age 13 with “Ocean Eyes,” described the public scrutiny she faced as a teen for her appearance and the interest in her young romantic life as “weird and upsetting.”
“I didn’t want people to have access to my body, even visually. I wasn’t strong enough and secure enough to show it,” she said. “If I had shown it at that time, I would have been completely devastated if people had said anything.”
“I’ve never felt like a woman, to be honest with you. I’ve never felt desirable. I’ve never felt feminine. I have to convince myself that I’m, like, a pretty girl,” Eilish explained. “I identify as ‘she/her’ and things like that, but I’ve never really felt like a girl.”
The complexity of emotions tied to girlhood is poignantly explored in her Grammy-nominated song “What Was I Made For?” from the “Barbie” movie soundtrack. The sentimental lyrics and tearjerking piano ballad has spurred tens of thousands of responses from listeners.
“It was so, so touching,” she said of the moving social media posts from audiences inspired by the song. “I feel like I helped bring people together, and it felt so special. I wasn’t expecting to have women around the world feel connected.”
More than seven years into her career, Eilish is already a music industry veteran but she sounds like she’s just getting started.
“I feel like I’m becoming a person I really love and doing things I feel really proud of,” Eilish said. “In many ways in my life, I feel like I’m just now waking up.”