Less Labels More Love

No, Billie Eilish Isn’t “Queerbaiting.”

A week ago, Billie Eilish blessed us with the video for “Lose Cause,” which features Billie dancing around with her friends in what seems to be a nice Palisades property. The video is goofy, playful, and totally fun.

But the Internet exists, and that means we can’t have nice things. When the video dropped, alongside an Instagram post with the caption “I love girls,” fans were obsessed with the idea that Billie was coming out, albeit in Joshua Bassett fashion.

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A post shared by BILLIE EILISH (@billieeilish)

But when subsequent rumors started spiraling about Billie dating problematic actor Matthew Tyler Vorce, fans freaked. “Is she bi,” Twitter wondered, “or is this queerbaiting?” 

Other members of the community, however, had to step in to set the record straight. Activist Matt Bernstein put the whole thing into sharp perspective: 

Meanwhile, Queen Bimini Bon Boulash stepped in to remind everyone that labels actually aren’t the vibe right now. 

User Strats explained the important difference between “baiting” and “coding”: 

And @heyyitsahlam explained that all this stuff is actually rooted in the male gaze: 

Seriously, why can’t kids just have fun without it being sexualized? 

It’s also cool to just feel sexy and have fun with your friends: 

Also, there’s an important distinction to be made between self-expression and pandering: 

The fact is, Eilish is one of Gen Z’s most visible icons. Everything she does gets scrutinized: when she didn’t wear revealing clothes, people were upset. Then this year, when Eilish appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair, she was accused of wearing too-revealing clothes. It seems that whatever Eilish does, she’ll be judged. After all, she is a woman in the public eye.

But as Bimini Bon Boulash pointed out, labels are well and good for people who want to use them. But if a new generation of teens—queer, straight, and across the gender and sexuality spectrum—want to express their sexuality without using labels, that’s also pretty cool. 

This Pride season, it’s always good to remember that just because a younger generation isn’t doing queerness the same way older generations did doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong. In fact, this whole “less labels more love” thing sounds pretty dope. 

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