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Your Opinion of Me Is Not My Responsibility

A couple months back, I had heard that Billie Eilish, who is known not only for her bops but her loose fashion style, had shown a short video addressing her body. Billie has been outspoken about the fact that she dresses in loose clothing because she does not want the media to sexualize her body and instead focus on her music. I mean who blames her? We have grown up in a world that judges you on your appearance, a world that polices how we express our gender. Many have applauded Billie for speaking out about her body and herself in general, I think her short film is powerful because she talks about how we can never be ‘perfect’ or ‘enough’, there is always something people will dislike about us.

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Billie released her short film titled, NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY, on social media this week and we were all excited to finally see what her fans saw on tour. There is calm sounding music playing the background as she begins to undress and start her dialogue. Billie begins by addressing that no one really knows her but people still judge her and continues to bring up that her body and style are not used only against her but to judge the way other dress too. The dialogue continues as Billie talks about how she feels the weight of the world on her shoulders because she is always being watched, she says that if she lived by the reactions of people she would not be able to move. I think she means that people feel constrained like they cannot make a move because society will find something wrong with it and since no one likes being constantly critiqued, they would rather hold back from what they want to do and who they are. Billie moves on to ask what the world would like for her to be, what would make them more comfortable and less threatened by in terms of her body and personality.

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However, she replies to that question with, “the body I was born with is that not what you wanted?” I interpreted this as Billie telling her critics that the body she is in is who she is, she has not changed anything about it and embraced the body she was born with. Today society judges you whether you have a cosmetic procedure done or not, if you have surgery then you do not have natural beauty and if you do not get a surgery done then maybe you should to enhance your features. However, we see that society prefers the narrative of someone having natural beauty but only the natural beauty we see on Instagram influencers, the smooth skin, and the hourglass figure. I think Billie is saying that the body she was born with makes some people uncomfortable, yet it is what society says she should embrace; she just cannot seem to win. Something powerful that Billie shared was, “though you have never seen my body you still judge it and judge me for it”, some girls cover their bodies for different reasons(religion, culture, preference) and still, we see society judge them for being a ‘prude’.

Billie finishes her dialogue as she goes underwater and points out that the world makes assumptions about people based on their body, it decides who they are for them and even measures their worth. At the end, Billie asks if her worth is based on the world’s perception of her or if the world’s opinion of her is not her responsibility.

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It is not our responsibility to make people feel comfortable about our own bodies by hiding them. I tend to cover up more and wear loose-fitting shirts and dresses because I always thought that people should not see my body, especially because I am plus-size. My size and shape are not what most people in society would consider beautiful so I covered up because I thought I was not worthy of being seen as beautiful, I used clothes to disappear. However, I have been changing these thoughts and working on dressing how I want and not by what others may see as appropriate. While practicing social distancing and staying at home, I have taken the time to change and explore my fashion preferences. I think of this as an act of self-love, I know and am here to tell you that you are worthy of wearing whatever makes you feel comfortable and beautiful. Wear that crop top if you want or wear a long-sleeve and jeans, do what is best for you! You are not responsible for the world’s opinions.