Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Coachella
First of all, if you thought you saw Billie Eilish perform at Coachella, no you didn’t. Well, you did eventually. But that first Billie? a decoy. A doppelgänger. A Sabé to her Padmefor you Star Wars–prequel heads. “The beginning of Coachella, I had a body double, one of my dancers for the show,” Eilish told Matt Wilkinson in an Apple Music 1 interview. “I dressed her up in a show look that I had worn before. We got a black wig and we put buns in it and we gave her a mask and sunglasses and she wore my shoes and my socks.” This Billie doombot appeared for the first two minutes of Eilish’s headlining set, per people. “And nobody ever knew it wasn’t me, literally nobody knew,” she said. “And while she’s up there, I put on a big black coat and a traffic vest and a hood and just glasses.” The real Eilish stood up to perform “Bury a Friend.” Later in the set, she performed a duet of “Misery Business” with Hayley Williams … or did she?
While this isn’t an expressly political act, it must have been freeing not to have to be “Billie Eilish” for two minutes. The singer has been speaking out lately about how the media’s judgments of her body have skewed her self-image. “No matter what you do, it’s wrong and right,” she told the UK’s Sunday times. “Wearing baggy clothes, nobody is attracted to me, I feel incredibly unlovable and unsexy and not beautiful, and people shame you for not being feminine enough.” But if she dresses “sexy,” people drag her for that, too. Negating the attention of the entire Coachella audience, if even for a song and a half, is a pretty sick reclamation of bodily autonomy.