After hearing rave reviews from our friends, this week we decided to watch The World’s A Little Blurry, a documentary on pop sensation Billie Eilish. Spoiler: we could not recommend it more! At just nineteen years old, Eilish has accomplished more than most of us will in a lifetime, yet she is just a teenage girl in so many ways. The film goes through her rise to stardom and her struggles, both regular and star-studded, that she faces along the way. Read on for our favorite takeaways:
Cutler, the genius maker of this film, caught a young talent just rising to fame, and in so doing, we are able to witness her grow up. What struck us most about seeing the intimacies of her home life was how close-knit her family was and how involved they were in each other’s lives. As Eilish puts it, “Our family was just one big fucking song.” We see them living in their modest childhood home from start to finish, even as Eilish is being gifted fancy dream cars. We can’t imagine many stars retain such a normal, almost stereotypical at-home dynamic while simultaneously sweeping at the Grammys. But, then again, not many other stars are sweeping at the Grammys in the first place while also demanding they direct their own music videos. And of course, it isn’t just her parents; her brother seems to be her best friend and her rock. Even as she grapples with more attention and responsibilities, they continue to make music together in their usual shoot-the-shit fashion with no one else in the room.
Mental Health Conversation
Eilish is candid about her mental health. She wrestles with anxiety stemming from such young stardom and a burning desire to please her fans, who she says aren’t her fans but are “like a part of her.” Not to mention the literal physical pain she inflicts on herself to perform full-out, no matter what it means for her body. We see her, as she makes music with her brother Finneas, constantly questioning, out loud, whether her fans will like it. We also see another physical manifestation of this stress: her Tourrette’s. This is a condition not many people know she faces and seems to present itself more during more hectic times. She is definitely not easy on herself, and it takes a toll on her mental state as she grows up under such immense pressures. She even shows us old notebooks and doodles mentioning self-harm. In the end, it is really important for people like Eilish to start these conversations and write music that is real and relatable to her fans, many of whom feel these emotions with her.
Normal Teenager – Boyfriend / Driver’s License
One of the more shocking aspects of the documentary was simply how normal Eilish actually is. We watch as she gets her license, falls in love with the wrong guy, and complains about missing her friends. Depicting Eilish as a regular teenager made the documentary incredibly relatable, which is pretty impressive given that she’s nineteen and has won six Grammys (not exactly relatable)! This inclusion of your average teenage minutiae did tug at our heartstrings a bit. Coming of age is hard enough, and we really commend Eilish for being able to handle it seemingly effortlessly, and with a target on her back nonetheless.
Meeting her hero
Eilish meeting Justin Bieber, her childhood hero, and self-proclaimed “first love” was one of our favorite parts of the documentary. Girlhood crushes are often made fun of and belittled, but boy oh boy are they visceral when you’re in them. Eilish can attest to this fact, as her mom considered taking her to therapy because her crush on the Biebs was so severe! All jokes aside, we’ve all had that celebrity crush when we were twelve where we were absolutely sure that person was our soulmate. We really like how Eilish doesn’t disparage the gravity of her feelings toward Justin when she was little, and it makes the audience feel as if she’s right there with Billie when she finally meets Justin.
Control of her image
Something that we’ve long-admired about Billie is that she controls her own image. Throughout the documentary, it’s clear that she’s the one calling the shots, which is really impressive for a teenage girl in an industry that is known for oppressing and objectifying women. She doesn’t go into depth about it in the documentary, but Eilish has purposefully worn baggy clothes throughout her career in an effort to ensure that she’s regarded for her talent rather than her looks. Bravo, Billie.