“Is my value based only on your perception?”
On July 29th 2021 Billie Eilish released her new album “Happier than Ever” and included the song from her short film, “Not My Responsibility” depicting the 19-year-old singer condemning the body shaming she’s experienced and the negativity surrounding her clothing choices. At the very end Eilish iterates, “Is my value based only on your perception? Or is your opinion of me not my responsibility?”
How ‘Not My Responsibility’ Tackles Criticism Against Women
Not My Responsibility, highlights the excruciating criticism women in the entertainment industry endure, especially when it comes to their body image. Eilish explains the dilemma women face if they wear too baggy or too revealing clothing and the assumptions that come with those outer garments.
“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
Eilish speaks on how mass criticism can be debilitating to those who fall under its pressure. In her own words: “So while I feel your stares, your disapproval or your sigh of relief if I lived by them, I’d never be able to move.” Eilish once again becomes a young voice expressing the impact negative commentary has on a girl’s mental health.
At the end of her masterpiece, Eilish slams the longstanding notion that a woman’s worth is based solely on her appearance and expresses that she should not have to manage the opinions of other people.
“If I wear more, if I wear less
Who decides what that makes me, what that means?
Is my value based only on your perception?
Or is your opinion of me not my responsibility?”
Why Is Objectification So Harmful to Women?
Objectification is the degradation of a person to the status of an object. It is the act of viewing someone with disregard to their feelings and emotions. Women objectification has been happening for centuries, and these sentiments can be seen through society’s harsh discourse about their appearance with little consideration to how it makes them feel. It also perpetuates the idea that looks are the only valuable thing women bring to the table.
Social shame is a powerful tool. Unfortunately, when society uses this tool against women’s (and more alarmingly young girls’) bodies it can be dangerous.
To all the women reading this, your appearance is the least interesting thing about you. Yes, read that again.
Your mind is more interesting. The talents and capabilities you possess are more interesting. Your stories are more interesting. Though appearance is the first thing people see, it is the last thing that makes people stay.
Eilish brings up a great point- to what extent should we have to care and cater to the opinions of others? Nowadays, it seems like everyone has an opinion on everything, good or bad. Thanks to social media, we now have access to view others’ commentary and provide our own input on a scale like never before. Unfortunately, this also means women are subject to scrutiny on a world-scale. How are we supposed to manage the expectations of 7 billion people?
The Answer Is You Don’t
At Nongirly, we believe that life is too short to be living in constant fear. Fear of failure. As well as fear of judgement (including body shaming). But the real fear should be not living life as your truest self. You have one chance on Earth- why waste it being uncomfortable in your own skin?
The confidence to live your most authentic life comes when you accept yourself for exactly how you are and thus, making you Happier than Ever!
To read more stories about how to tackle body shaming, please visit Nongirly‘s blog today.