Genre-bending pop star Billie Eilish posted an Instagram story on August 15th, but it was different than most. Eilish wasn’t showing off an avant-garde outfit or promoting a new single, but officially speaking out on a controversial political issue — gun control and school shootings.
Video of Billie Eilish speaking out on gun reform: pic.twitter.com/OJj2QZbX2y
— daryl not hall nor hannah (@starylize) August 15, 2019
The camera is close to Eilish’s face, her current state of vulnerability and distress visible. “…I’m making this video to talk about how scared and worried I am about… the f****** shootings going on, and how nobody ‘in charge’ is doing anything to change anything at all.” Eilish continues to express her frustration and urge her supporters to text “checks” to 644-33, a number the organization Everytown for Gun Safety is using to connect people to their senators and demand change for gun safety laws.
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FACT: People in peer nations play video games, use social media & have mental health issues at similar rates to Americans. So why is our gun homicide rate 25x higher? Lax gun laws. ⠀ ⠀ ACTION: Text CHECKS to 644-33 & tell your senators to pass background checks on all gun sales & a strong Red Flag law.
Eilish ends the video with, “Please just help. Love you.” before blowing a kiss at the camera.
Many people can brush off her actions as what the March For Our Lives leaders have been doing for the past few years, but for someone on Eilish’ caliber to speak out on such a controversial topic is consequential. Most artists and their teams fear that if they state any direct opinions or create a statement, they will alienate a large part of their fanbase, resulting in a PR nightmare and loss of profit for everyone.
Pop sensation Taylor Swift only recently openly supported a Democratic candidate in October of 2018 from Tennessee, publicly declaring her support for Phil Bredesen through a lengthy Instagram post that was met with positivity and of course, backlash. While Swift’s post sparked a rise in voter registration, current sitting president of the United States Donald Trump said he liked her music “about 25% less” and Swift is still ridiculed by fans and celebrities alike for being a Democrat.
Billie Eilish’s stance on gun control is not only brave and inspiring but powerful. If anyone has scrolled through a celebrity’s mentions on Twitter, it is obvious that fans and “stans” vehemently support their favorite singer, actor, etc. in almost everything they do. Eilish is one of the world’s most famous pop stars and has made waves for her rejection of the norm and acceptance of counterculture, embracing what society deems as strange or disturbing and embodying her fanbase’s teen angst. She understands them and they understand her, creating a strong bond. Eilish is using her immense amount of clout to create positive change around the country, maybe pushing her fans to become activists and hopefully more socially aware of the world around them. Like or not, Billie Eilish is definitely not the “bad guy” — at least not for today, since she is one of many to help push America in a positive direction to create a safer environment for our future.
Featured image via Billie Eilish’s Instagram.