Billie Eilish Spoke About How Her Addiction to Porn ‘Really Destroyed My Brain’

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ll be sharing one of our top ten most popular posts of 2021 every day for the rest of the year. Some of these stories are encouraging, some are infuriating and some are just weird, but hopefully all of them help illuminate a different side of God’s Kingdom and the people in it. Today’s post is our seventh most shared article of the year.

Grammy-award winning singer Billie Eilish spoke candidly about her addiction to watching pornography and the way it negatively affected her, saying she now feels “incredibly devastated that I was exposed to so much porn.”

Eilish shared her thoughts on “The Howard Stern Show” on Monday. She opened up about the way that watching pornography “destroyed” her brain.

“As a woman, I think porn is a disgrace,” she said. “I used to watch a lot of porn, to be honest. I started watching it when I was like 11. I think it really destroyed my brain and I feel incredibly devastated that I was exposed to so much porn.”

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She added that watching it initially helped her feel cool and like she was “one of the guys.” Ultimately, however, she admits it led to her suffering nightmares because some of the content she watched was so violent and abusive. It also shaped the way that she saw sex, dating and herself in general.

“The first few times I, you know, had sex, I was not saying no to things that were not good. It was because I thought that’s what I was supposed to be attracted to,” she said.

“I’m so angry that porn is so loved, and I’m so angry at myself for thinking that it was OK,” she continued. “Women’s bodies don’t look like that. We don’t come like that.”
This isn’t the first time Eilish has shared about her view of pornography. In her song “Male Fantasy,” Eilish sings about distracting herself with pornography and comparing herself to the woman in the video: “I hate the way she looks at me / I can’t stand the dialogue, she would never be / That satisfied, it’s a male fantasy.”
Exposure to pornography has never been easier, as the Internet and social media make it easily accessible. One Barna study showed that younger generations are seeking out porn more and more. Eilish was only 11 years old when she began watching it; some as young as 9 years old have admitted to watching it. The younger the addiction starts, the deeper impact it can have on one’s view of life and relationships.
For decades, research has detailed harmful effects of repeated exposure to pornography, but that conversation has typically circled around men. Women have finally been added to the conversation within the recent years, but studies still often skews toward men, leaving women as simply an added statistic instead of a necessary piece of the puzzle that needs to be solved. We know that repeated exposure harm mean and women in different ways.
Extreme sexist values run rampant in pornography, leading women, like Eilish, to consent to acts they wouldn’t otherwise feel comfortable with. Numerous women have admitted that they subjected themselves to sexual violence because of pornography. But this isn’t talked about as much as the effects of male exposure to pornography.
Even within the Christian circle, the conversation around pornography heavily focuses on men. The message that it is only something men struggle with is an antiquated view. Addiction can reach everyone, and some studies suggest that as many as 17 percent of women have a porn addiction. By treating pornography addictions — or any sin, for that matter — as a men-only issue, women are left with not only the guilt of watching pornography, but also feelings of isolation that they are the only one struggling in this way. It can feel as if there’s no where to reach out for help because all the conversations and resources spoken about from the pulpit are geared toward men.
Eilish’s open conversations about the negative effects of pornography on women still feel taboo, but they are important. Having a young, female advocate outwardly expressing that watching pornography is damaging has the potential to bring other young women to freedom. Women are ready to speak up and out about how pornography is hurting them. They want help. And the Church needs to be prepared to walk with, instead of silencing their problem.

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