Culture Clips: Billie Eilish Confronts Objectification … in a Surprising Way

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Pop phenom Billie Eilish is well known for wearing baggy clothes. In a Calvin Klein ad last year, Eilish revealed that her generally loose-fitting garb is an intentional choice to avoid being objectified. “Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath,” she said then.

This week, however, Eilish made a provocative statement about objectification in a different way at a Miami concert: by taking off her shirt (she was wearing a bra), after which she delivered a lengthy spoken monologue about women’s bodies being objectified:

You have opinions—about my opinions, about my music, about my clothes, about my body. Some people hate what I wear, some people praise it, some people use it to shame others, some people use it to shame me, but I feel you watching—always—and nothing I do goes unseen. 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. Would you like me to be smaller? Weaker? Softer? Taller? Would you like me to be quiet? Do my shoulders provoke you? Does my chest? Am I my stomach? My hips? The body I was born with, is it not what you wanted? If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I’m a slut. Why? We make assumptions about people based on their size. We decide who they are, we decide what they’re worth. 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?

Meanwhile, concerns over the coronavirus outbreak continue to affect the entertainment industry as multiple events, concerts and movie releases are cancelled in response to the growing epidemic. Perhaps the biggest shock has come with the postponement of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Coachella, which has brought hundreds of thousands of tourists to SoCal since 1999, had been scheduled for April 10 to 12 and April 17 to 19, featuring Travis Scott, Frank Ocean, Rage Against the Machine and dozens of other acts. No word yet on if this lineup will rebook October festival dates, but The New York Times reports that event promoters are scrambling with talent agents to make it work.

Elsewhere in the music world, tour dates for Pearl Jam, BTS, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Green Day, Louis Tomlinson, Avril Lavigne and Ciara have all been postponed (and in some cases, cancelled) in order to protect the performers, their crews and their fans from the illness. Miley Cyrus (who was scheduled to headline the World Tour Bushfire Relief charity concert in Melbourne, Australia on March 13) was also forced to cancel her appearance, tweeting,

I am so disappointed to not be there, but I have to do what is right to protect the health and safety of my band and crew. I will still be making a donation to help the victims of the Australian bush fire. I’m sorry to miss everyone in Australia, but I will be back soon.

In last week’s Culture Clips, we mentioned the delay in production of Mission: Impossible VII and the postponement of the latest Bond film’s release date (No Time to Die will now release in November). Now added to that list is the release of Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. According to CNN, the sequel to the successful 2018 film was set to release in the United Kingdom on March 27 and the United States on April 3. It will now be released in both markets on August 7. Another film, My Spy, has also pushed back its release, from March 13 to April 17.

Some studios have opted for online releases, such as the makers of Enter the Fat Dragon and Lost in Russia (both Chinese films), and this has already prompted a shift towards other home-viewing services in lieu of going outside. CNN Business reported that “’stay at home’ stocks, like Netflix and Amazon … have been early gainers as investors reallocate funds, while movie-theater chains, concert promoters and cruise lines have suffered.”

TV shows such as The View, Wheel of Fortune, Dr. Phil, The Wendy Williams Show and Jeopardy! have suspended filming with live studio audiences, according to CNN. And after Heidi Klum fell ill during the taping of America’s Got Talent, fellow judge Howie Mandel was spotted in a full hazmat suit with gloves, a mask and a breathing tube. Yahoo! Entertainment reported that Klum has not contracted COVID-19, but that hasn’t stopped stars like model Naomi Campbell from taking a page out of Mandel’s book by travelling in a hazmat suit.

While doctors aren’t recommending that we all don hazmat suits quite yet, the CDC is recommending that we scrub our hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, or about the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday.” But for those looking for a new song, Relevant has provided a list of Christian songs about “getting clean” to help stave off the, including “Give Us Clean Hands” by Chris Tomlin and “Clean” by Hillsong United.

Another suggestion that has been made is to clean your phone. Slate stated, “A 2019 survey found that people touch their phone 2,617 times per day on average, and experts estimate that the devices generally host 10 times more bacteria than toilet seats, mostly because people don’t commonly clean them as often. Wash your hands! Then wash your phone.”

And while you’re keeping the exterior of your phone clean, be sure to keep its interior “contents” clean as well by making sure any digital content you consume about coronavirus is accurate. NBC News reported that Apple has cracked down on developers releasing apps related to COVID-19, aiming to prevent spam. ABC News notes that TikTok, Facebook and other social media platforms have partnered with the World Health Organization to prevent the spread of misinformation as well. And this is certainly warranted since Slate has received information that as consumers have bought up hand sanitizer, masks, and other supplies online in the hope of staying healthy, a “shadowy array of grifters and opportunists are flocking to” selling books and manuals that claim to hold the secret to surviving the outbreak.

In non-coronavirus news, the Call of Duty franchise is entering the battle royale video game category made popular by Fortnite and Apex Legends. The new game, called Call of Duty: Warzone, released yesterday. It’s makers hope to conquer this niche market by allowing more players per battlefield with its “massive, open-world environment,” a twist on the respawning element, and a continuous stream of updates to “surprise” and “delight” players, says USA Today.

Finally this week, after being found guilty in a New York trial last month, disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison. BBC News states that although Weinstein’s lawyers advocated for leniency given his age and poor health, prosecutors argued that he “should be given the maximum possible sentence given his ‘lifetime of abuse’ towards women and ‘lack of remorse’ for his actions.” Weinstein’s sentencing comes as a major victory not only for his victims but for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, whose president said, “We hope that survivors will feel encouraged to come forward, knowing that it can truly make a difference in bringing perpetrators to justice.”