The pop star opened up about her experience with womanhood and "internalized misogyny" in an emotional speech at the 'Variety' Power of Women event
Billie Eilish may be known to make fans tearful by wearing her heart on her sleeve in her songwriting, but for once, she shed tears over her own progress.
The pop star, 21, was among the honorees at Variety’s Power of Women event on Thursday and shared an emotional speech about how she’s become very “proud” of her womanhood after having “never felt truly like a woman.” Throughout the speech, the Grammy winner reiterated that she’s “not a crying person,” but continued to tear up while reflecting on how she “resents” her past “internalized misogyny.”
Barbie star Ariana Greenblatt presented Eilish with the honor — reportedly with a speech about her “authenticity and fearlessness” and how much she cherishes their friendship. The “Bad Guy” singer then took the stage while still crying and joked about being on medication for laryngitis and having a hard time holding back her tears.
Once the hitmaker collected herself, she began opening up about her identity and experience in the spotlight. “I don’t like doing speeches because I would rather give my platform to people who know what the f--- they’re talking about,” she said “I was so young — I’m still young — but coming up and being 15, it’s really f---ing me up a little bit to think about. I don’t be crying, like I’m not a crying person. Like, I’m zooted right now, sorry.”
“But it’s really hard to be a woman out here guys. It’s hard,” she continued.
The singer-songwriter then spoke candidly about her own experience with her gender. “I’ve said this a lot recently, so if anybody’s heard me say this, I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record, but I’ve never felt truly like a woman,” she admitted. “I’ve spent a lot of my life not feeling like I fit in to being a woman.”
“I think for a couple years because of that insecurity, I became almost very ‘pick me’ about it, and I would be like, ‘Oh, I’m not like other girls because I don’t do this and this,” the Oscar-winning songwriter revealed. “I’ve grown to be very resentful of that period of time because I’m so much more interested in being like other girls because other girls are f---ing tight, and I love women.”
“This sounds kind of f---ed up, but I have a lot of internalized misogyny inside of me and I find it coming out in places I don’t want it to,” the songwriter shared. “And I have to say, with full transparency, I feel very grateful to be a woman right now. I feel very proud, and I feel very honored to be here.”
“I’ve never felt like a woman, to be honest with you. I’ve never felt desirable. I’ve never felt feminine," the "Happier Than Ever" artist explained. "I have to convince myself that I’m, like, a pretty girl.”
After clarifying her preferred pronouns in the interview, she said, “I identify as ‘she/her’ and things like that, but I’ve never really felt like a girl.”
The alt-pop singer explained that, although she feels like she can’t “relate to girls very well,” she has a great admiration for women. “I have deep connections with women in my life, the friends in my life, the family in my life,” the performer continued. “I’m physically attracted to them. But I’m also so intimidated by them and their beauty and their presence.”
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Despite wrestling with those feelings, the “When the Party’s Over” singer also opened up in a recent interview with The Los Angeles Times about the protectiveness she feels over young female stars who she sees herself in, like Olivia Rodrigo and Greenblatt, 16.
“I just see myself in all these young girls,” she said, referring to the breakout success and overwhelming attention she received at a young age.
“And it’s the girls, man. Boys can handle themselves. They’re dudes — they don’t have to deal with it like we do,” the musician continued. “I just want to hold everybody in a little glass box and never let anything touch them.”
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