Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” is making our tear ducts work overtime with its highly relatable message that’s about finding one’s place in the order of the world. There are a lot of things the latest Barbie single did right in terms of capturing the famous Barbie mythos and the reality of our not-so-perfect world.
“I used to float, now I just fall down / I used to know, but I’m not sure now,” she mesmerizingly begins the emotional track, immediately commanding the attention of listeners with just its opening lines. She then goes on to ask, “What was I made for?” – a question of self-doubt we can’t help but relate to.
Paying tribute to Barbie’s purpose as a doll, she sings, “Takin’ a drive, I was an ideal / Looked so alive, turns out I’m not real / Just somethin’ you paid for.” In a way, even though she’s talking about a doll’s role in the human world, we can still glimpse ourselves through that lens.
So far, we’ve gotten mostly upbeat songs from the Barbie soundtrack, so this is a beautiful change of pace. Prior to the track’s release, Eilish revealed that she was one of the mystery artists on Barbie The Album via an Instagram post, where she shared her joy that she got to partake in something she cared about.
If ever a video complemented a song, it’s the “What Was I Made For?” music video. The video opens by showing us a neatly dressed Eilish meticulously arranging tiny clothes on a tiny rack. However, things start to take a turn when the winds roll in and threaten to scatter the things she spent time arranging and she clings to them. Continuing to arrange these mini-clothes, she is then met by the rain, which she bravely braced to preserve the pieces.
“What Was I Made For?“ our barbie song (& video) is out now. :‘) in january greta showed me and finneas a handful of some unfinished scenes from the film; we had nooooo idea what to expect at ALLL… we were so deeeeeply moved.. that the next day we were writing and COULDNT shut up about it loll! andddddddddd ended up writing almost the entire song that night. to be real with you this all seemed to happen in a time when i really needed it. I’m so so thankful for that,” an obviously excited Eilish shared in a press release for the song.
She added, “this video makes me cryyyyy. it means so much to me and i hope it will mean just as much to you. don’t have much to say other than that, i think it will speak for itself.”
Nmesoma Okechukwu is an entertainment journalist, editor and freelance writer. She covers pop culture, music, lifestyle, literature, movies, and environmental preservation.
Nmeso's work ranges from writing profiles, essays and features for various online and print publications to doing commercial copywriting, musician bios and press releases, editorial consulting, live interviews and video production.
You can also find her interviewing talents, campaigning for the preservation of the natural environment and championing the eradication of extreme poverty.