Billie Eilish skyrocketed to fame when she was just 15, and in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times the “Bad Guy” singer looks back on how becoming an instant celebrity as a teenager messed with her head.
“I hated going outside. I hated going to events. I hated being recognized. I hated the internet having a bunch of eyes on me. I just wanted to be doing teenager s**t,” Eilish tells the Times.
Going on tour when she was 16, taking her four-times platinum debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? on the road, should have been a triumphant experience, but it left Eilish depressed and stressed. As she explains, her body reflected physical manifestations of that stress in the form of laryngitis or fevers. In addition, she felt alienated, constantly surrounded by adults while the only people she ever encountered her own age were in the audience.
“Honestly, it took growing up a little bit. Literally, physically growing up — like the actual chemicals in my brain shifting,” she says of overcoming those feelings.
Another thing she’s learned to do is ignore what’s said about her on social media. In fact, she says she’s stopped reading the comments from her 87.8 million Instagram followers, and now only uses the app to post.
“Because otherwise I will spiral out, and s**t’s mean as f**k,” she says. “There are some people, like my brother, who can get a text from someone he doesn’t like and delete it immediately. He won’t even read it. I can’t do that. If Satan himself texted me, I’d be, like, ‘What did he say?’”
While she remains curious about how she’s being perceived, she’s also come to realize it’s a rabbit hole she no longer wants to go down.
“I want to hear what people have to say, and also, because I’ve grown up on the internet, I mostly agree with a lot of what the internet says,” she admits. “Some of the things that they make fun of people for are funny because they’re kinda true, right? Which then worries me because I’m like, ‘Oh, God, are the mean things [about me] actually true? And what are they?’ I want to know them! But I don’t want to know them, because what is that going to do for me? Nothing.”