Billie Eilish’s latest video has caused controversy (Picture: YouTube)
A new Billie Eilish music video always causes waves, but her latest release has proved more controversial than most.
The 19-year-old was accused of queerbaiting this month after the release of her video for her single Lost Cause, which saw her frolicking with a group of girlfriends after ending a relationship.
In the video, Billie is seen hanging out in bed with the girls, as well as playing Twister, dancing and twerking.
Alongside the video, the teenager shared outtakes and BTS images to Instagram, with the caption: ‘i love girls.’
Now, many people took this as a straightforward statement of loving the company of other girls, but others took it as a coming out statement.
On top of this, some people claimed that if Billie wasn’t coming out as LGBTQ+, she was ‘queerbaiting’.
One comment read: ‘bye I literally cannot. it’s like if she’s coming out good for her but if she claims to be straight after this, bestie it’s queer baiting sorry..’, with another reading: ‘Are you gay or are you queerbaiting?’
Another follower added: ‘bestie idk if ur queer baiting or not but im really hoping you aren’t because it’s really rude.’
So what is queerbaiting, exactly?
It’s usually applied to TV shows and movies that create romantic or sexual tension between two same-sex characters but never make it canon or evolve on it – think the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in the BBC drama Sherlock, which fans believed to be romantic but creators constantly denied.
Brands can also be accused of queerbaiting as a marketing technique to draw in an LGBTQ+ audience without actually providing representation.
However, can a person really be queerbaiting if they are exploring their sexuality or even just getting close with the same sex in a non-romantic setting?
Billie has been defended by many people on social media, who argue that people should be permitted to explore their sexuality without labels or fear of being accused of queerbaiting.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK finalist Bimini Bon Boulash tweeted: ‘My hot take on the Billie Eilish ‘queer baiting’. Can’t a human experiment their sexuality without the need of labelling? Why do we assume everyone has to be straight until proven otherwise? Less labels more love.
‘Also there have been tonnes of MALE musicians that get away with blurring the lines of gender and sexuality and are praised for it. We hold females at a higher standard. If Billie is straight good, if she isn’t great. Is anyone fully 100% straight?’
Matt Bernstein added: ‘my only thoughts on billie eilish “queerbaiting” is that more than 100 anti-trans bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year and they are all infinitely more harmful than a 19 year old publicly exploring her sexuality without labels.’
Others pointed out that a group of female friends is often seen as more sexual than it is due to the male gaze in society and culture.
Billie has not commented on the controversy, and has never defined her sexuality – not that she is obliged to.
Previously speaking to Jimmy Fallon, she said: ‘I think girls are hot, you know, humans are hot, and if I ever fell in love with one, hell, I would not mind.’
Currently, the No Time To Die singer is dating actor Matthew Vorce, 29, who she was first spotted with back in April.Credit: Original article published here.