Grammy Award-winning singer Billie Eilish has opened up about how viewing pornography “destroyed” her brain.
The 20-year old American pop singer, who has been in the public eye since releasing her debut single as a 14-year-old, told The Howard Stern Show that she was first exposed to pornography aged just 11.
She said she was left “devastated” by watching the abusive and violent material and that it gave her nightmares and sleep paralysis.
Eilish said: “I started watching porn when I was, like, 11. I was an advocate and I thought I was one of the guys and would talk about it and think I was really cool for not having a problem with it and not seeing why it was ‘bad,’ you know?”
porn is a disgrace
She continued: “As a woman, I think porn is a disgrace, and I used to watch a lot of porn, to be honest. I think it really destroyed my brain, and I feel incredibly devastated that I was exposed to so much porn.”
She added: “It got to a point where I couldn’t watch anything else—unless it was violent, I didn’t think it was attractive.”
Eilish also explained how pornography use affected the way she viewed relationships, saying: “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”.
John Stevens, National Director of FIEC, tweeted: “Billie Eilish highlights dangers of porn from her personal experience.
“It sexualises woman’s bodies, normalises what is ‘not good’ in sex, undermines free consent by creating expectations & led to her suffering nightmares. No surprise but will wider culture listen?”
‘Violent and debasing’
The Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation said: “Studies show that porn use normalises attitudes sympathetic to, and supportive of, violence against women and girls. Because women and girls are painted as ‘prudes’ or ‘vanilla’ if they don’t watch the same material, they feel compelled to acquiesce”.
It added that the “escalation into finding increasingly abusive and violent material attractive” as described by Eilish “is not an unusual consequence of porn use”.
“The consumer-driven nature of the porn industry dictates that performers are consistently pressurised into engaging in increasingly degrading and abusive acts, which are in turn normalised and – the key point here – less stimulating and enticing for viewers.
“Only material that is even more violent and debasing will satisfy users.”