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Billie Eilish Was Right to Be Pissed at a Nylon Cover Featuring Her Topless

Thankfully, the cover is gone, but the anger is still there.

: Billie Eilish attends the ASCAP 2019 Pop Music Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 16, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for ASCAP)

Billie Eilish, whose songs have dominated the radio this summer, is pushing back against a Nylon cover that features art of her bald and topless. Nylon Germany posted a photo of the cover, and Eilish posted an Instagram comment responding to it, expressing her displeasure and explaining that she and her team were never contacted about this piece and the art that went along with it.

Billie Ellish responds to a Nylon cover that features her topless.

Nylon responded with an edit to the initial post saying: “For this cover, it was never our intention to create a look that is confusing or insulting to Billie Eilish. It was only ever our intention to honor Billies impact and her work by creating this avatar which is part of a cover series highlighting the power of digital prodigy artists. This avatar is a piece of 3D artwork created in dedication to her achievements and the positive effect she has had on millions around the globe – including us.“

The post has since been taken down.

The worst part about their comment is that they never apologize for offending Eilish and posting this photo. Never once are the phrases “we apologize” or “we’re sorry” used. If Eilish had no knowledge of the piece, and neither did her team, then they had no business trying to run a photo of her that implies nudity. Eilish is 17 years old, and to run a photo of her in which she’s topless after she’s expressed how she likes to wear baggy clothes to avoid being objectified shows a deep lack of respect for the artist herself. Eilish should have had the right to veto this cover before they ran it, and the fact that Nylon is not apologizing for this is ridiculous.

Eilish is right to be angered by this. She has the right to choose her image and how she is presented to the world. To post a cover that goes against everything she wants her image to be is somewhat insulting. This is not a dedication, as Nylon insists. It is them steamrolling over her wishes and not even consulting her to run an image that’s bound to get people reacting.

There’s a line between honest coverage and doing something that will deliberately be provocative against an artist’s direct wishes. Nylon should not run this particular cover, and they very much owe Eilish a proper apology.

(image: Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for ASCAP)

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Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.