Billie Eilish‘s ‘Skinny’ Lyrics Comment on Body Image Critics and Her Breakup

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Billie Eilish begins her new album, Hit Me Hard and Soft, on a rather vulnerable note—and keeps digging deeper from there. After deciding not to release singles, this opening track is the first real, full taste of her latest LP. It serves as a fitting introduction to the project, as she looks back on her first love, the subsequent heartbreak, navigating life in the public eye, and the ongoing scrutiny on her appearance.

In the first verse she sings, “People say I look happy / Just because I got skinny / But the old me is still me and maybe the real me / And I think she’s pretty.” The singer is no stranger to body-shaming and unsolicited judgments on her looks; she’s addressed it in past interviews, such as her 2021 ELLE cover story, and even her last album, Happier Than Ever, especially on the spoken word track “Not My Responsibility.” After years in the spotlight, Eilish, now 22, is still the target of these comments, and while she’s learned to trust in herself (as the lyrics show), the jabs can still be painful. “And the internet is hungry for the meanest kind of funny / And somebody’s gotta feed it,” Eilish sings in a later verse.

“I like myself more than I used to, and I’m more interested in how I feel than how they feel,” she told British Vogue last June. “But then also that might be a load of bullshit, because it still hurts my feelings like a son of a bitch.”

Eilish also details a certain heartbreak on the gentle-yet-revelatory track and continues to explore it at different angles on the rest of the album. Here, she sings with her angelic vocals, “I never did you wrong…I loved you for so long.”

Listeners might be apt to draw connections to her most recent ex boyfriend, Jesse Rutherford, whom she dated from the end of 2022 to early 2023. (Eilish turned 21 during that relationship, in December 2022, and as she sings in “Skinny” that “21 took a lifetime,” alluding to the ups and downs of that relationship and its aftermath.)

If the heart wrenching ballad reminds you of “What Was I Made For?” that’s because she wrote it before her Oscar-winning Barbie song. In some ways, it was “the catalyst to writing the hit,” according to Rolling Stone.

Read the lyrics to “Skinny” below.

Fell in love for the first time

With a friend it’s a good sign

Feelin’ off when I feel fine

21 took a lifetime

People say I look happy

Just because I got skinny

But the old me is still me and maybe the real me

And I think she’s pretty

And I still cry

Cry

And you know why

Am I acting my age now?

Am I already on the way out?

When I step off the stage I’m a bird in a cage

I’m a dog in a dog pound

And you said I was your secret

And you didn’t get to keep it

And the internet is hungry for the meanest kind of funny

And somebody’s gotta feed it

Do you still cry?

Still cry

Cry

I

Never did you wrong

And my

My patience is gone

And I

I never did you wrong

I

I loved you for so long

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