July 27, 2021


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Billie Eilish trolls ‘babies’ who were offended by a doodle

Billie Eilish, the anti-pop star who can seemingly do no wrong, potentially did so in the eyes of Instagram fans — and she called them “babies” for it.

The “Therefore I Am” and “Bad Guy” singer seemed to shed up to 100,000 followers this week, a dip that coincided with her participation in the viral “post a picture of [something]” trend that’s making the rounds in Instagram Stories.

The 19-year-old performer deigned to share images of her cellphone’s lock screen and a drawing she was proud of, the latter of which featured serpentine bondage as well as bare breasts and backsides of the Rubenesque variety. She captioned it “these probably lol I love boobs.”

Later, when a fan jokingly pointed out that she lost followers because of it, she didn’t mince words, laughing it off and dismissing them as “babies.”

“LMFAOOO y’all babies smh,” she wrote, censuring them with two skull emojis.

In the grand scheme of things, the ebb took the Grammy Award winner from 73 million followers to about 72.9 million. And the discrepancy appeared to be resolved by Wednesday, when she was back up to 73.1 million followers on the platform. It’s unclear if the decline was related to the image or simply a normal fluctuation in Eilish’s popular public profile. The dip might have been only a handful of unfollowers on the numerical bubble between millions that altered the rounded-off total in her follower count.

Reps for Instagram were not available Wednesday to comment.

But the fact that Eilish responded makes the flap more interesting. It’s not the first time the whisper-soft singer, an iconoclastic performer who unapologetically breaks with the tropes of pop stardom, has addressed the public’s fixation on her body. She blasted it in a short film about body image last May after being trolled for wearing baggy clothing. Gradually disrobing in the film, Eilish clapped back at body shamers and unwelcome opinions — not unlike her terse response to her NSFW doodle this week.

“Do you know me? Really know me?” she said in the film. “You have opinions about my opinions, about my music, about my clothes, about my body …. But I feel you watching. Always. And nothing I do goes unseen. So while I feel your stares, your disapproval, your sigh of relief, if I lived by them, I’d never be able to move.”

As the picture-sharing game continued on Instagram Stories this week, Eilish shared behind-the-scenes photos of her fried, color-treated hair, then joked that she wouldn’t put out her highly anticipated sophomore album if fans kept making fun of it.

“I’m … making you an album. I will not put it out if you keep making fun of my hair! Shut up!” she teased, also noting her signature neon green hair would be changing in her Apple TV+ documentary, “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry,” due in February.