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Billie EIlish talks body image, revealing how being shirtless to get her massive back tattoo 'saved me'

The Hit Me Hard and Soft hitmaker has six tattoos on different parts of her body

Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
April 30, 2024
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Billie Eilish loves a good bit of ink, and took it to the next level last year when she got her entire spine tattooed on her back with intricate design and detail.

The 22-year-old musician opened up in a new interview with Rolling Stone about her upcoming new album and perceptions of her personal self, and shared some insight into her journey with body positivity.

The young singer has spoken in the past about growing to feel more comfortable in her own skin while being in the public eye, and shared how getting her back tattoo helped propel that journey forward.

How Billie's tattoo 'saved' her

While revealing that she enjoyed the process of getting inked by Matias Milan, known as "beer spill" on social media, she said: "That [expletive] saved me in a way."

Billie continued: "I was shirtless the entire day, because it was my spine, and so I had no shirt and no bra on all day, and it forced me to get comfortable."

Billie Eilish shows her full massive back tattoo on Instagram© Instagram
Billie revealed how getting her spine tattoo proved to be cathartic

What else did Billie say about her body?

Later in the interview, the "Bad Guy" singer admitted that she often indulged in self pleasure in front of a mirror to feel more confident about her body.

MORE: Billie Eilish makes a bold statement with sultry sheer top and chic matching gloves

"I got to say, looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking 'I look really good right now' is so helpful," she said. "You can manufacture the situation you're in to make sure you look good." 

Billie Eilish arrives at The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/MG22/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue )© Getty Images
"I was shirtless the entire day, because it was my spine, and so I had no shirt and no bra on all day, and it forced me to get comfortable."

"You can make the light super dim, you can be in a specific outfit or in a specific position that's more flattering. I have learned that looking at myself and watching myself feel pleasure has been an extreme help in loving myself and accepting myself, and feeling empowered and comfortable."

MORE: Billie Eilish returns to her blonde roots as she sports extreme departure from her usual look – see

What more has Billie said about body dysmorphia?

In an interview with Vogue last year, the singer shared: "Honestly, nobody can say anything about my body that I don't have a stronger opinion about… I also think that if I was younger, like if the internet talked about me the way they do now when I was like 11, I don't think I would be able to exist, to be honest."

Billie Eilish attends the 96th Annual Academy Awards on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images)© Getty Images
The singer found looking in the mirror and admiring her body "has been an extreme help"

She continued: "I like myself more than I used to and I'm more interested in how I feel than how they feel. But then also that might be a load of bull because it still hurts my feelings."

What other tattoos does Billie have?

Billie has five other tattoos across her body – she has the words "Hard" and "Soft" on her abs, a Chinese dragon running up her thigh to her hip, her surname "Eilish" across her chest, and three fairies on her hand, plus the spine tattoo.

Billie Eilish debuts her "soft" hip tattoo© Instagram
The singer has a slew of other tattoos, with her most recent in honor of her upcoming album

In an interview with Vanity Fair, she'd previously confessed that she didn't want any face tattoos, emphasizing a preference for ones "barely anyone can see."

MORE: Billie Eilish make defiant red-carpet appearance after hitting back at sexuality comments

In the 2021 edition of her Vanity Fair interview, she stated that the fairies were from a "little fairy book I had growing up called 'Fairyopolis'. They're like my little guardian angel fairies." She's even called them her "favorite" on social media, citing the childhood inspiration.

billie eilish fairy tattoo on left hand © Instagram
She's called her fairy tattoo her "favorite"

In her VF interview, speaking of her three tattoos at the time, she commented on the surname on her chest, saying: "Yes, I love myself," and called the dragon her "big boy."

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