At the beginning of the three-minute, 40-second feature — which dropped unexpectedly on May 26 — the Bad Guy singer is seen fully clothed and hooded as she stands alone in a dark room.
Backed by an unfamiliar and eerie electronic composition — similar to that of the work produced by her older brother Finneas — Eilish proceeds to recite an extremely personal passage about body image and how she’s been perceived across social media simply because of the way she looks.
“Do you know me?” she asks the viewer.
As she begins to unzip her hoodie in the video, the 18-year-old continues: “You have opinions about my opinions, my music, my clothes (and) my body.”
“Some people hate what I wear, some praise it,” she adds. “Some use it to shame others, some use it to shame me. But I feel you watching, always, and nothing I do goes unseen.”
Eilish’s message intensifies as she strips down even further and slowly submerges into a dark pool of water — which is also reminiscent of the black liquid seen in the music video for her critically acclaimed 2018 single When the Party’s Over.
“While I feel your stares, your disapproval, or your sigh of relief … If I lived by them, I’d never be able to move,” she said.
“If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I’m a slut.
“Though you’ve never seen my body, you still judge it and judge me for it.”
“Why?” she asks. “We make assumptions about people based on their size. We decide who they are.”
Despite the fact that she only turned 18 in December, Eilish has said that as well as being body-shamed, she’s been heavily “sexualized” across the internet.
During an interview with Dazed last month, the five-time Grammy winner recounted a specific example of being “slut”-shamed after posting a photo of herself and a friend to Instagram earlier this year in which she was wearing a bathing suit.
“I saw comments like, ‘How dare she talk about not wanting to be sexualized and wear this?!'” said Eilish. “It was trending.
“There were comments like, ‘I don’t like her anymore because as soon as she turns 18, she’s a whore.’ Like, dude. I can’t win. I cannot win.”
Eilish later admitted to the outlet that the critique came to a point where she “was naked and didn’t recognize (her) body” because she “hadn’t seen it in a while” after covering it up all the time in her signature bright and baggy attire.
“I would see it sometimes and be like, ‘Whose body is that?’” she said.
Eilish seemingly alludes to some of these instances in Not My Responsibility.
At one point, she asks, “Do my shoulders provoke you? Does my chest?”
She concludes with two additional questions: “Is my value based only on your perception? Or is your opinion of me not my responsibility?”
According to the video’s description, Not My Responsibility was initially intended to be “seen on tour.” Before being released officially on Tuesday, it actually premiered at one of her shows in Miami, Fla., on March 9.
It’s unclear when the tour will be rescheduled.
For additional details and information, you can visit the official Billie Eilish website.
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