Billie Eilish was admittedly very much in her feelings on Thursday night (Nov. 16) at Variety‘s Power of Women event. The singer, 21 — who opened with a caveat that she was very emotional and weepy due to the heavy dose of the steroid Prednisone she’d taken to treat vocal issues (“I’m zooted right now”) — was moved to tears by the introduction from Barbie star Ariana Greenblatt.
“I was still processing the fact that she made a song for the movie, a song that resonates with me and probably many of you in a deep way,” Greenblatt said of Eilish’s Grammy-nominated ballad “What Was I Made For?,” which the singer also performed at the event. “I did not think I would be capable of meeting her, let alone holding a conversation with her.” She did, however, get to meet Eilish in what she called the “biggest full-circle moment” in her life so far and the launch of a cherished friendship.
After Greenblatt called Eilish a role model (and a mirror) for young women in an industry where teen stars are often surrounded by adults they can’t relate to, an emotional Eilish hugged her friend and sniffled, “Oh man I was crying over here girl.” Telling the crowd that she doesn’t love giving speeches, Eilish said she’d rather “give my platform to people who know what the f–k they’re talking about.”
Eilish then alluded to the difficulties of entering the game at a young age (15) and still feeling very young before apologizing for her teariness. “I don’t be crying, I’m not a crying person,” she said. “But it’s really hard to be a woman out here guys… I’ve never felt truly like a woman,” she explained, re-iterating a feeling she shared earlier this week in a Variety feature in which she talked about being “physically attracted” to women while saying she “never really felt” like a girl.
“I’ve spent a lot of my life not feeling like I fit in to being a woman… This sounds kind of f–ked up but I have a lot of internalized misogyny inside of me and I find it coming out in places I don’t want it to,” Eilish said. “And I have to say, with full transparency, I feel very grateful to be a woman right now. I feel very proud, and I feel very honored to be here.”
Eilish was also honored for her work with the plant-based food initiative founded by her mother Maggie Baird, Support + Feed. Despite the vocal issues, Eilish performed the moving soundtrack song with brother/collaborator Finneas.
Watch a clip of the performance and Eilish’s speech below.
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