Arts, Music, Review

Billie Eilish Flaunts Self-Acceptance in “Therefore I Am”


Billie Eilish is a Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter who’s only 18 years old. But, if you’ve read any pop culture headlines recently, Eilish’s musical prowess isn’t the topic of conversation. 

Eilish’s decision to wear baggy clothing and hide her body from the public eye, she explained in a 2019 Calvin Klein ad, was to make sure that nobody could have an opinion about what she looked like. But, now that Eilish’s life is in the spotlight, a lot has changed, and people have quite a few opinions about her music, her body, and her fame. 

Eilish takes on all of this in her music video for “Therefore I Am,” her newest single released on Nov. 12. The song plays off of the classic philosophical phrase “I think, therefore I am,” and Eilish reframes it as an unabashed call of self-acceptance. 

In the video, directed by Eilish herself, the “Bad Guy” singer runs through a California mall with khaki-colored baggy shorts and a cardigan covered in graffiti-esque graphics. 

The camera—which Eilish revealed in a Zane Lowe interview was simply an iPhone—follows her around the deserted mall hallways. As the video goes on, Eilish hops from food court to food court, grabbing some classic mall fare while smiling cheekily at the camera. 

Though the video is clearly meant to be relaxed and unplanned, you can’t help but notice Eilish’s smirk as she sings, “I’m sorry / I don’t think I caught your name” in between bites of a donut. 

As Eilish’s celebrity only grows, it’s clear that she’s finding a way to rise above fake friends, malevolent gossip outlets, and public scrutiny. 

The “Therefore I Am” video ends with Eilish—now laden with a soft pretzel, a donut, fries, Chipotle chips, and a lemonade—smiling sweetly at the camera before sprinting out of the mall as a distant voice yells at her to leave. 

It’s Eilish’s carefree, perhaps even a bit apathetic or mean-spirited, attitude that shines in this song and in the video. The authenticity, weirdness, and self-acceptance in “Therefore I Am” perfectly encapsulates Eilish’s charm and proves that costumes, choreography, and elaborate sets aren’t the only recipe for music video success.

Photo Courtesy of Interscope Records

November 15, 2020