Billie Eilish: Pop Star First, Person with Tourette Syndrome Second

As reported in 17 Magazine, at 17, Billie Eilish has rapidly become a huge celebrity with her life catapulted into the public eye. Part of being famous in 2019 means cameras everywhere, and any content is up for being rapidly spread, altered, and memed on the internet. For Eilish, one of the things this meant compilations of her raising her eyebrows, throwing her neck, or making a strange face.
Eilish posted a response on her instagram that people were not expecting. While she is anyways silly and bold, this isn’t her goofing around: she has Tourette syndrome, a fact new to her fans and celebrity world.
Tourette syndrome is a nervous system disorder that causes spontaneous and uncontrollable moments or noises such as flicking ones head, clearing ones throat, or saying words without purpose. These symptoms can have a range of severity and can be aggravated by stressors, sickness, lack of sleep, or changes and disruptions to ones typical life.
Eilish said the disease is just something she has always lived with and knows how to control. She said she had never been public about it before simply be cause she didn’t want the disease to overshadow her image or to be known just as ‘the singer with Tourettes’. Instead the tics are something she says she has managed to repress when in front of the cameras, though this does ultimately make the tics worse when she eventually releases them. She has since talked about it on various public platforms including the Ellen Show, on her personal Instagram, and now in other interviews. She had been surprised how many of her fans that had the same disease reached out, and saw her as a role model. Since then, she’ll casually give reference to the disease in passing without any reservations, but also without the need to publicize it.  Rather it’s a side note, a part of her unashamedly, but in no way does she let it define her.

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