Image by @asphaltchronicles, retrieved from Air Jordan.com. 4 minute read.
If you’re a human who listens to music, you’ve probably heard Billie Eilish’s songs even if you don’t know who she is.
The 18-year-old pop star gained popularity and a serious following starting in 2016 when she shared the music she and her brother produce on Soundcloud. Fast forward to March of this year, when she released her first studio album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with the third-largest streaming numbers for an album by a female artist.
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Eilish is the first artist born in the 2000s to have a number one album in the USA, and the youngest female ever to have a number 1 album in the UK. In other words, she’s a big deal, and she also nabbed 6 Grammys for her first album.
But while her music has reached around the globe, and her face is everywhere, her style has been something of a mystery to followers and fans alike. On and off the stage, she’s often seen wearing baggy pants, huge sweatshirts—different than what other pop artists are seen wearing, right?
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When she did a collab with clothing brand Calvin Klein in a short video ad last May, she finally explained. The reason might be different than you expect:
“I never want the world to know everything about me. I mean, that’s why I wear big, baggy clothes. Nobody can have an opinion if they can’t see what’s underneath.”
Her comments could be aimed at body-shamers, but they also remind us how much teens are sexualized in our pornified culture.
Watch the 30-second reposted video right here:
The comments on the original video upload were filled with people who can relate:
“I can understand Billie,” user lnd commented.
On her Instagram post of the video, @kenopsiuh said, “It’s sad how people gotta do this just to avoid being sexualized or body shamed. smh”
And this comment on her video by user Miss_Flutey hit us right in the feels:
“This is so true though. It might sound extreme, but this is one of the main reasons I’m done with dating (at least for a while). I got tired of the constant nagging about how I should dress more revealing and with higher heels so the guy can prove something to his buddies… No regard for my physical or psychological comfort. Regardless of dressing ‘average,’ I still get creepy comments from guys, but sometimes women too. Even when it’s a ‘compliment’ (ie: ‘You have nice hips’ from a random man, or ‘you have such a small waist’ from a random woman) it still feels slimy and uncomfortable for some reason… What I want people to see when they look at me is a good-hearted gal with a strong work ethic who has accomplished a lot at a young age. See me for who I am on the inside since that’s what matters.”
Why is this heartbreaking, you may be asking? Because teens and adolescents shouldn’t have to feel as though the world will inevitably objectify and sexualize them—they should feel free to be themselves without pressure or judgment.
If you think Billie is being overly cautious or paranoid, consider this: the fact is, teens are sexualized all the time in our world. And porn culture makes this even worse.
Consider how, on her 18th birthday in December 2019, Billie’s name reportedly trended on popular porn sites. Imagine how degrading and humiliating that would feel to be sought out as sexual entertainment—even if you know you don’t have anything that would show up in searches.
Why this matters
Although it’s fallen in the ranks the last few years, since 2012—but remained in the top 10—a wildly popular search term on a porn site that got 42 billion visits in 2019 is TEEN.
Now, after seeing this data, here is what we hope most people would be thinking about: if millions of people across the globe are constantly searching and consuming porn involving and depicting teens, what do you think that is doing to their sexual tastes and expectations? Is it fair to assume that this massive consumption and demand for the “teen” genre influences the porn consumer to think that sex with teens is acceptable, or more exciting? Or that the younger the girl looks, the easier it is to have sex with her, or the easier it is to take advantage of her?
Due to the science and research on porn’s effects rearranging and rewiring people’s sexual template, we can tell you that this is one effect this is having on our society.
This is one of the many problems with porn. It is hugely fueling a culture in society that primes people to think of teens as exciting sex objects. For almost 10 years running, “teen” has been one of the most searched terms on the world’s most popular porn site (and we think it’s a pretty safe bet to say that it’s not other teens who are looking).
Sound like a world you want to live in?
Us neither. So let’s change it—join us in taking a stand and spreading the word on the real harms of porn, and raising awareness that teens, including Billie Eilish, are not sex objects.