Far too many celebrities, not to mention everyday humans, have fallen into the trap of briefly attempting to be “alt.” But at 18, Billie Eilish has discovered that she has the opposite problem: The enigmatic singer is incapable of deviating from her alt lifestyle. (At least, she insists as much; we have to dock her a few points for retiring the @wherearetheavocados handle, and for pivoting her monogram mania from knockoffs to actual designer goods.)
If there’s one moment that best encapsulates Eilish’s authenticity, it just might be one that she recalled in a 73 Questions video that Vogue published on Thursday. Taking a page out of Eilish’s book, the outlet broke with convention by enlisting an AI robot to interview Eilish, kicking things off with the question “What are you like?” Quite a few curveballs followed from there, but there was also one that a journalist—albeit an unimaginative one—would typically ask: “Do you want to go back to being anonymous?”
The short answer is no. And the long answer is that Eilish did used to feel that way, out of frustration at the difficulties fame presents for partaking in everyday activities, like going out to dinner with a friend. One evening, though, Eilish decided she had had enough: “I was like, Why don’t I try to disguise myself?,” she recalled. “So I put on a wig. I put on just a hoodie and a little bow on my head, and some jeans. And I went out.”
Of course, we already know that the apocalypse did not come to pass. But it was certainly earth-shattering to Eilish; she couldn’t stand betraying her roots. “I hated it. I hated it. I hated it. It’s so fucked up! I just didn’t like it,” Eilish said.
Though it sounds like even then, Eilish was beginning to embrace her fame: “I was like, People aren’t nice to me now,” she continued. “I think mainly, it’s that I wouldn’t wanna not be me. I think that’s what it is. It’s not like I wanna suddenly be somebody who isn’t me, and be anonymous. I want to be who I am, and that means that I have to be this way, and live this life.
“I hope that doesn’t come off as cocky. I hope that it comes off as, like, grateful. I have an incredible life.” Spoken not exactly like a true alt—but also definitely not like a true poseur, either.