Monday’s with Ms. Marvel: Billie Eilish

In+her+weekly+column%2C+Monday+with+Ms.+Marvel%2C+Wingspan%27s+Trisha+Dasgupta+reviews+different+political+issues+and+relatable+topics+in+everyday+life.

Morgan Kong

In her weekly column, Monday with Ms. Marvel, Wingspan’s Trisha Dasgupta reviews different political issues and relatable topics in everyday life.

Trisha Dasgupta, Editor-in-Chief

When Billie Eilish first took the internet by storm in 2017 no one quite knew what to make of her. 

At 16-years-old, with platinum blonde hair, an ever so bored stare, and eerie alternative pop vibes reminiscent of Lana Del Rey and Lorde, the young singer-songwriter entered the music industry with a bang, quickly catapulting into a superstar career. Immediately controversial, her age and blasé attitude towards traditional gender roles and styles made her stand out among, well, everyone. 

Throughout the years since her incredible and unprecedented debut, she’s only reinforced the idea that she simply doesn’t care about what society, the male gaze, and the internet has to say about her or her body, and as a teenage girl only a couple of years younger than Eilish, I can attest to the impacts her unique superstardom has had. 

Teenage girls aren’t taken seriously. We’re mocked and belittled and our power is often minimized. When Eilish’s music first started taking off she was a victim of this tired tirade against teenage girls as well. 

However, unrelenting in the face of thousands of angry men on the internet, Eilish churned out hit after hit, making campy creepy videos that went against every rule pop culture had set for young women, turning the music industry on its head. Seven Grammy’s later, she’s unstoppable, and she’s done it without sacrificing her strange aesthetic in order to cater to the male gaze and the patriarchy’s expectations for teenage girls. 

She’s weird and atypical and above all else, undeniably herself. 

Young women are taught repeatedly throughout our adolescence that there is exactly one way to be attractive, one way to be successful, one way to be. Eilish’s career and place as a public figure who emphasizes fashion and self-confidence as a personal choice for women to make for themselves is nothing short of revolutionary. 

We’ve seen generations of female superstars torn down by the public, stripped of their personalities and personal ambitions in order to cater to patriarchal standards of celebrity and fame. Eilish’s disregard for what people think of her is nearly a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, and the dozens of other women who were treated miserably for having the audacity to exist as women in the public eye. 

While Eilish has for sure benefitted from the slowly more forgiving post meToo culture, she’s doing her part by forcing the needle farther and farther, changing perceptions of young girls, and showing my generation the power of individuality and expression, regardless of gender and existing prejudices.