Billie Eilish Says Growing Up Famous Is a 'Bruising Experience'

Finding fame at 15 has left Billie Eilish with 'severe imposter syndrome,' she said Tuesday.

Billie Eilish is opening up about her teen fame.

"Growing up in the public eye is a very bruising experience, and it's really hard to grow and change," Eilish told the BBC, who named the 20-year-old one of their 100 Women of 2022. "I just didn't really know what to do. I was just grasping at straws."

Eilish has been living in the public eye since 2015 when a SoundCloud recording of her brother Finneas' original song Ocean Eyes went viral overnight.

She now has an Oscar, 7 Grammy Awards, 100 million followers on Instagram and more than 60 million on TikTok.

Speaking to the BBC, she reflected on how "strange" it was for her to suddenly go from being "in the comments" on the internet to being someone who was talked about.

"I'm an internet kid," she said. "I saw everybody else in the public eye when they were (famous), and suddenly it's me."

Billie Eilish Says Growing Up in the Public Eye Has Been ‘Bruising’

For Eilish, the problem is that to most people her public identity was created when she was 15 and to many is forever set in stone. So making any changes to that persona as she gets older sometimes feels impossible.

"It absolutely drives me insane that you can look up Billie Eilish and videos that come up are things I said when I was 15," she told the BBC. "Almost nothing I said before two months ago I still believe."

Now that she's turned 20, Eilish has gained her footing and her confidence, but it wasn't always smooth sailing — and a big part of that, she said, is because she's a young woman. It's "really hard to make people believe in you" as a woman in her industry, she added.

"It was a very satisfying moment when I realized that people actually either wanted to hear what I had to say or believed in what I had to say. And when I finally had control was a really good moment."

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 05: (L-R) FINNEAS and Billie Eilish, both wearing Gucci, attend the 2022 LACMA ART+FILM GALA Presented By Gucci at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 05, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for LACMA)
Finneas and Billie Eilish. Stefanie Keenan/Getty for LACMA

Even now, having solidified the power she said she'd been wanting in her career, the Oscar winner still struggles to feel like she deserves the success she's had.

"I just had such severe imposter syndrome," Eilish said. "I've had that so many times in my life. And really just like, some parts of last year and the year before, whew — was just in that downward spiral of imposter syndrome and just grasping at whatever I could to make me feel like myself again."

The bad guy singer is notorious for keeping her life private, but in recent months has opened a door on her relationship with singer Jesse Rutherford — eleven years her senior.

After being spotted kissing outside a restaurant in early October, Eilish went Instagram official with the Neighbourhood singer, 31, on Halloween. They even sported a couple's costume that seemingly referenced their age gap, with Eilish dressed as a baby and Rutherford as an old man.

In November, they followed this up by making their red carpet debut in matching Gucci outfits at the LACMA Art + Film Gala 2022.

Billie Eilish talks BF Jesse Rutherford for first time

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Eilish made her first comments on her new beau in the recently released sixth installment of her annual Vanity Fair interview.

"It's really cool and I'm really excited and I'm really happy about it," she said. "I managed to get…to a point in my life…where I not only was known by a person that I thought was the hottest f---ing f---er alive, but pulled his ass! Are you kidding me? Can we just [get a] round of applause for me? Thank you, Jesse Rutherford, everyone."

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