Days after releasing their latest album, pop star Halsey has opened up about the sexist criticism they faced as a pregnant working artist.
While the singer hasn’t shied away from discussing their nuanced feelings about pregnancy in the past, Halsey got candid about public perceptions of motherhood in a new interview. “I got treated like a teen mom a lot of the time, you know what I mean?” said Halsey, who uses fluid pronouns. “Where people were like, ‘Oh, my God, you’re so young, and you have so much to do in your career, and you’re not married,’” they told New Zealand DJ Zane Lowe on his weekly Apple Music show.
This unsolicited pushback was despite the fact that Halsey noted she is an adult who is able to make her own decisions. “I’m 26, and I tried very hard for this pregnancy,” they said, “and it was like, ‘I’m financially independent. I’m pretty far along in my career. It feels like the right time for me to do it.’”
Despite feeling affirmed in the decision to become a parent, Halsey said such comments “triggered all of these feelings of shame.” Ultimately, though, she realized that some people were going to have a problem with it no matter what decision she made.
“I knew the whole time I made this album and made the film that people were going to be like, ‘For someone like Halsey, who’s had miscarriages and whatever, she shouldn’t have been working so hard. Would it have killed her to stay home and relax for the baby?’” they added.
Because there’s simply no pleasing everyone, Halsey decided to not listen to what others thought. “I just was like, ‘I’m going to do what I want to do.’ You know what I mean? This is important to me,” she said.
Halsey has previously discussed their sometimes difficult journey to parenthood, including miscarrying on tour just hours before they were expected to appear in front of a crowd. Speaking to The Guardian last year, the pop star said that experience was just one of several miscarriages she’s had, describing the ordeal as “demoralizing.”
“It’s the most inadequate I’ve ever felt,” they said. “Here I am achieving this out-of-control life, and I can’t do the one thing I’m biologically put on this earth to do.”
Halsey shared with the U.K. publication, however, that doctors had informed her that a healthy pregnancy would be possible with treatments for endometriosis and a healthier lifestyle. The musician described the news as a miracle.
Still, having a child hasn’t all been sunshine and roses, a theme that Halsey’s latest album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, explores in detail. They said that the public might have “expected” an “album that was full of gratitude” after listening to them “yearn for motherhood and yearn for this for so long,” but that was far from the case. Halsey said she would sometimes dream of “waking up in a pool of my own blood” during their pregnancy.
“And instead I was like, ‘No, this shit is so scary and so horrifying, and my body’s changing and I have no control over anything, and I do finally have this thing I want,’” they told Lowe. “So I wake up and fear every single day that I’m going to lose it.’”
In a July 7 Instagram post, Halsey further discussed the complicated feelings that influenced the Trent Reznor–produced record, which is Halsey’s fourth overall.
“It was very important to me that the cover art conveyed the sentiment of my journey over the past few months,” she wrote, saying that it was inspired by the dualistic notion of the madonna and the whore. “The idea that me as a sexual being and my body as a vessel and gift to my child are two concepts that can coexist peacefully and powerfully.
“My body has belonged to the world in many different ways the past few years, and this image is my means of reclaiming my autonomy and establishing my pride and strength as a life force for my human being,” Halsey said.
This post originally appeared on them..