This is a fun change for Billie — very retro-glam, and she looks great. (Heather told me that she thinks Billie kind of resembles a Baby Lady Gaga here, and I agree!) If you can’t try on a lot of different looks when you’re 19, when the hell can you, after all? And this is a good one.
The interview is also very good and feels pretty honest. The lede is a great story (I won’t spoil it for you), and I think it does a good job at reminding the reader that as talented and smart as Billie obviously is, being this famous this young is a lot to hang on one person’s shoulder, even someone as seemingly grounded and well-adjusted as she is.
She wishes she could tell fans everything but she’s reached the limitations of the expectation of transparency placed on the mega-famous. “It’s too much for them and it’s too much for me and it’s not healthy.” But she’s pretty good, happiness-wise, a state of mind grounded by the knowledge that neither darkness nor joy is a fixed state. “Everything comes in waves,” she says.
The fact that she knows it’s too much for her is smart and healthy, but I think it’s also very wise to realize that it’s also not good for her young fans to have a constant stream of information about a celebrity they might love but do not actually know.
I also really liked this part:
Scrutiny has left her fluent in anticipating criticism: she predicts the objections to the combination of this song and Vogue’s shoot. “‘You’re going to complain about being taken advantage of as a minor, but then you’re going to show your boobs?’” She tilts her head and widens her eyes in a slow charade of contemplation. Then she swivels back, points straight at me and laughs. “Yes I am, motherf**ker! I’m going to because there’s no excuse.”
Good for her! The interview makes it clear that the pin-up-inspired vibe and look of this shoot was all Billie’s idea, and — leaving aside the fact that she’s ABSOLUTELY right that certain people are going to be weird about it, something she goes into greater detail about in the profile — and there was a lot of chatter on social media over the weekend noting that it’s interesting that she chose British Vogue for something that she surely knew was going to be a big deal, rather than American Vogue. (In fact, we just got a presser from British Vogue that their Instagram post about this cover just set the world record for Fastest to One Million Likes.) A new look and a new album and a very honest interview from Billie Eilish is going to do big business for any magazine, and Anna Wintour did not get the commission. Do we think she’s stressed today? (I ask this with the caveat that Billie IS one of the “chairs” of the Met Gala, so she might ALSO be getting an American Vogue cover?)
Photos: Craig McDean. See the full feature in the June issue of British Vogue available via digital download and on newsstands Friday 7th May.