by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Kylee Griswold writes for the Federalist about an interesting development in the pop culture world.
Billie Eilish looks and sounds different than she did four and five and six years ago, and like any compelling coming-of-age story, it’s a good different. The almost 21-year-old has been busy this year weeding through our culture’s endless expectations for the fairer sex — with the pressure of 100 million people’s eyes on her, no less — and embracing the beauties of womanhood. It looks lovely on her.
Each year since 2017, Vanity Fair has sat down with Eilish on the same day for a repeat interview, and the 2022 iteration just came out this week, skyrocketing to the No. 1 trending video on YouTube. Released just two months after Eilish wrapped up her “Happier Than Ever” world tour, that’s exactly how she appears.
She rolls her eyes at the antics of her grungy younger self and exposes baby Billie as a people-pleasing fraud who was not much more than a parody of who she wanted people to think she was. “Just more footage of me being a little idiot at 16,” she says.
But with a breezy laugh and all the magnetism of a woman who knows not to be too hard on herself, Eilish gives herself grace. After all, there’s no shame in being better than you used to be. This time around, comfortable in her own skin with an understated haircut and color, Eilish thoughtfully considers the questions she’s heard year after year, seeming for the first time to give the correct answer, not the cool one.
But it’s not just her cheerful demeanor, authenticity, and “back to basics” style, as she describes it, that show Eilish has outgrown her child star persona. It’s her priorities.
“The most important thing to me now is being in touch with myself and how I am actually really feeling and listening to my gut, trusting my gut,” she says in a message that’s less about promoting self-love and more about demonstrating victory over depression and self-doubt. “My family being good and happy and healthy and my relationship being really solid with them — that’s what’s important to me.”