My name is Renaissance Marie Austin and I have finally built up the courage to tell my story. But first, let me lay the groundwo...
Maggie Baird Talks Real Life Parenting and The World's A Little Blurry with Tig and Cheryl on their Podcast TRUE STORY: A Documentary Podcast
Billie Eilish: The World's A Little Blurry is a Little Spectacular | Review and Commentary by Renaissance Marie Austin
Where do I began? I am not even sure how I want to approach the format for this article. In so many ways I feel the need to talk to Billie directly as if I am having a one on one coversation with her, but instead I will try to find a middle ground here. Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry presents so many thoughts and emotions from laughter and sadness, to intense introspection. It is evident that there was beyond an abundance of footage to examine for this film. What remained became the perfect ingredients to complete a full picture recipe that can be zoomed in upon, or zoomed out, and evaluated from multiple angles. Because there is so much to pull apart here you will indeed find a lengthy and sectioned article of which I am sure you will enjoy. Let's begin.
"My family is the reason I am the way I am" - Billie Eilish
And thus it is the family unit that makes us who we are because it is where we began before we are socialized by education and then by the world. I have said it before and I will say it again that I absolutely love Patrick and Maggie's parenting style as it is very similar to how my father raised my brother and I. I relate to instruments, books, and art supplies present throughout our home right at our fingertips for us to grab and learn whatever we wanted to at any given time. We were not home schooled, but their style of home life was the same in conjunction with systematic learning. My father was a chef in the navy for nine years so food, fishing, and cooking was a big part of our upbringing as well. He also never hindered our interests or who we were becoming as growing kids, but supported us. What I see at the foundation of Maggie and Patrick's parenting is freedom of choice and cultivation. While most parents give their children no freedom until they are legal adults, Patrick and Maggie gives Billie and Finneas freedom of choice from the very beginning. The idea is this: just because a person births a child does not mean they have to dictate who he or she will become. What I have personally observed is individuals engaging in marriage and family for all the wrong reasons. Men and women getting married just because most in their circle are married and they feel they are behind. They have children repeatedly to see who can have more kids than the other or to trap each other. Some are lonely and have no one to love so they have babies to fill that void. Others want someone or some situation to control so they boss their kids around just so that they feel powerful. There are so many scenarios and sadly none of these cultivate a bright future for the child. The O'Connells in my opinion have created a pro forma for all the world to see and I believe Child Development curriculum should take note because is it evident that the success acheived by Billie and Finneas at their ages (and fate plays a part but that's another story) is proven by their upbringing and the very intentional parenting choices made in the home. And sure, it's music, it's the industry, it's teen 'sensations' and I believe it to be true for those who came before them like Michael, Diana, Stevie Wonder, Brittany, Christina, Brandy, Monica, Aaliyah, Justin T. and Justin B, Rihanna, and so many more. There is an intentional cultivation that takes place within the family unit that allows all of them to become who they are eventually going to become no matter how diverse the individul parenting tactics are or the various roads taken to get them there.
Here is what I love about Gen Z. They are vocal as hell and I am all for it. Billie is the epitome of Gen Z, but is a rare gem. She is the voice of her generation, but a unique voice that is all her own. Often times she is a teacher to her generation and other times she plays right along with them engaging in very Gen Z "things". In this documentary Billie checks the adults many times overs including her mom and proves that adults don't always know what they are doing. This is without a doubt my favorite Billie Eilish character trait because when I first "met" Billie I ran to my older friends who where in their late 50's and 60's telling them about how I discovered this amazing Gen Z artist who captivated me with the totality of her being. We discussed socializations based on our particular generation and the clich´es we were led to believe. As an artist I personally was told that I was doing too much and had my hand in too many baskets. As children we were told to respect our elders, "Do as I say and not as I do". We were told not to talk while grown folks were talking or were told to leave the room. Then we grew up and realized all the adults were fully flawed and often times worse than the innocent youth. Words of inspiration had come to me during the time I intensely watched Billie Eilish interviews and they read a little something like this:
"...And we were spoken to, told we must respect our elders, only to grow up and find they were flawed adults in the same instance we were innocent children" - Renaissance Marie Austin
Billie Eilish help me realized something major. I was lied to my whole life and I believed what people said and at the same time there was this little bug inside of me that got angry. I thought, people couldn't tell me what I could and could not do. However, that bug was not greater than the outside chatter. She was the first person I ever heard say that she would not be told she had to limit her artistic creation. If she wanted to direct, sing, dance, draw, write songs, produce music, create a fashion line, she would do it all and whenever she felt like it. A chord was struck and in that moment Billie re-confirmed and affirmed an internal belief system I always had as a young eighteen year old coming out of high school but was not fully aware of how to practice and execute that belief. Not Billie though. Without a doubt, at sixteen years old, she knew what was proper and would not settle for excuses from any of the adults aroud her. One of my favorite scenes in the film is when she chews out her mother and team on the bus in New York before arriving at the pop-up shop. The night before, the meet-and-greet was set up very badly and fully disorganized and she let them have and you know what, she was correct. There was not a word from her mother and the team could not say anything to negate her position. Throughout the entire documentary whenever Billie speaks she speaks with surety. There is something so prominent within her that makes all she believes solid and this is NOT typical for teenagers in general at all! She finally proved after some time that even though she is a teenager she was to be respected as a professional and listened to because at the end of the day her commandments, honesty, and demands would bring the entire empire to where it needed to be, and that meant success for everyone.
Those who have never experienced love or loss are crying over Billie's hurt feelings and ready to demolish Q, a.k.a Brandon Adams, Billie's ex-boyfriend who plays a role in the documentary's love story. A couple of days after the doc's premiere he took to Instagram stories and posted that "there are two sides to every coin" and that he was dealing with the "loss of his brother" at the time. Shortly after posting he deleted them. No worries, the fandom got screenshots including myself. I know this story all to well and much like Billie I love deeply and passionately. She is a nurturer and caregiver and gravitates toward people who are troubled and need fixing. Same, and that's okay. But I have also been Q.
To make a long story short, at the age of fourteen I was sitting in geography class when I looked up one day and was immediate striken by a classmate who was standing on the other side of the room talking to our teacher. For a whole week I ranted and raved to my girls about how crazy I was about him. At the end of that week I approached him after class with my girls looking on and from there we exchanged numbers then dated for eight months. Funny thing is one day on the phone he opened up to me about how he thought I was beautiful the very first time he saw me and that was two years prior! I was completely shocked that I would suddenly fall in love with someone who had his eye on me the whole time and I did not even know he existed. He knew every single class we had together. I mean, if this was not a match made in heaven I don't know what it was. Unfortunately, two weeks into our Spring sememster my father suddenly died and two weeks after that I had lost my mind and broke up with him and had also started overlapping a liking for someone else. It happens. I was emotionally unstable. By the time we were seniors I realized the huge mistake I'd made and apologized to him in painting class but believe me the burden weighed on me for a couple of semesters because I could not find the right time to tell him I was sorry for what I did.
In the film we see one side of the story which is edited in such a way to make Billie Eilish fans hate the guy, but it is evident that they loved each other very much despite Billie saying that he didn't love her. I believe he did according to what he believed his expression of was love was at the time. It just so happened to be a bad time to try and love. Dealing with loss or even being unfaithful and perhaps dealing with other girls has everything to do with how mentally ready a person is. Billie was also rising and fast. Perhaps Q was jealous, or confused, or simply did not know how to handle the relationship, loss, and his own career all at once. Billie, who has never attended school would have dealt with this makeup to breakup side girls situation multiples times if she had, but it is a beautiful thing that, once again, she was solid in what she believed a relationship should be and it was not what it needed to be at the time. She also had the example of her parents and the loving environment she grew up in and may have had the expectation of that same aesthetic in her own relationship so at times you get that 'just be better and let's love each other' energy. Again, this is solely based on the scenes provided. There is so much more we have not seen. One thing is for sure, Billie in love is the most adorable thing ever and in the film it is insightful to see that while she is strong and bold in her career she is quite soft and submissive when she loves someone.
Triumphs and Victories
Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry is a masterpiece. Period. What we are observing is a young girl who is an old soul and knows one thing for sure: She is an artist and has always been since she was aware she was a person. Anyone heavily invested in the fandom has seen the video clips from when she was about nine years old directing her friends and making home movies. But as you watch the documentary you really do get a sense that while Billie KNOWS how to create art, she has no foresight into the huge star she is about to become. At one point in the movie she says she is "not going to make another album". Maybe she assumed she and Finneas would finish the record, put it out, it would do okay, she would be a local artist with a local following, and then still go work at Trader Joe's or Jamba Juice. Or perhaps there was an inkling in a tiny corner of her mind that she would become the star she dreamed of, but what we see is her mostly wanting her boyfriend and friend group in the midst of it all. At times you get the sense that she believes she is still creating music in a leisurely way as if she and Finneas are just brother and sister making music in his bedroom like they have always done, as if there is no label involved. As time passes we see that Billie finally comes to understand all that is going on in her life. Through the physical and emotional pain she is suffering she pushes on, through the good shows and the not so good shows. Also, during this span of time her team seems to be in a stage of just getting to know them as artists and the family in general. There are some agreeable moments and some not so agreeable. Let's just say we are happy "Xanny" was released shall we.
Overall, for the Billie Eilish fandom, The World's a little Blurry completes many puzzles whose pieces were not yet in place. With more of the behind the scenes footage we received completion and closure to a lot of situationas we had only seen on the front end. For others who have been delaying their attachment to Billie's journey and persona they have been won over causing the When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go? album to rise back to the #1 position on the charts. By the time we get to The Grammys there is one vicotoy after another and after seeing the hours of hard work put in along the journey the awards are well deserved. You can not watch this film once. It is a repeat viewing event and while the world seemed blurry for Billie during this time in her life, her dreams were realized and made clear for all the world to see.