Billie Eilish Singing the New Bond Theme Feels Like a Turning Point

Billie Eilish is joining one of the most exclusive musical clubs in the world.

What do Louis Armstrong, Madonna, Adele, Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey, Duran Duran, and Tina Turner have in common? They’ve all performed Bond songs: the iconic singles that traditionally open James Bond movies. And now Eilish, who recently turned 18, will have one in her catalog. She’s by far the youngest person to ever write and sing a Bond theme, and definitely the only one who has the middle name “Pirate.” She and her brother and longtime collaborator, Finneas, wrote the theme song together for the 25th Bond movie, No Time to Die, which is due out April 8.

“It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way,” Eilish said in a statement, adding the opportunity is a huge honor.”

“James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist,” she said. “I’m still in shock.”

No Time To Die disappointed some fans when it was announced that, despite rumors, for the 25th time, 007 would be played by a male actor (Daniel Craig, in his fifth go-round as the vodka-swilling M16 agent). But there will be feminist influences on this film that go beyond the surface-level girl-power of hot women holding guns: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the Fleabag genius, is one of four credited co-writers.

And Eilish’s contribution is pretty thrilling. She’s someone who’s lived proudly in opposition to everything Bond movies say a woman should be. Bond Girls, the wildly thin, barely-dressed sex interests of James Bond, have given a powerful impression over the years of what a woman should be: seen and rarely heard. Listen, if you want to wear vintage lace underwear, have at it—but Eilish’s uniform of baggy, comfortable clothing has asserted to young girls that their choices can be dictated by their own tastes, not by the tastes of much-older men.

Eilish’s’ explanation for favoring loose fashion (“I never want the world to know everything about me”) is an abrupt reminder that women, famous or otherwise, do not owe anyone access to their bodies. Bond Girls are extravagantly sexualized, but Eilish’s artistry shows that women who aren’t interested in being sexualized also have enviable options. (That said, if you want to start going by Pussy Galore and wearing gold lamé tops, you have the full support of the Glamour staff behind you.)

Billie Eilish’s presence on a Bond project is vindicating, especially for those of us who know that cargo shorts are more comfortable than thongs (so: everyone who has worn a thong). Also: writing about the right time to die seems exactly up her dark, insect-filled alley. Godspeed, Billie.

Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour. Follow her on Twitter @JeanValjenny.

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