In a series of tweets, Halsey explained their absence at last night’s Met Gala, explaining they’ve got “leaky hurty boobs, a bloody swollen uterus, and a human being that depends on me as a life force”
Though plenty of famous faces turned up for the return of the Met Gala after more than a year’s break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans were certainly missing Halsey, who has always stunned at the annual fashion forward extravaganza. But in case anyone needed a reminder, the singer literally gave birth to their first child in July, and the expectations on brand new parents remain utterly bullshit.
When a fan asked Halsey, who uses she/they pronouns, why they weren’t in attendance at the star-studded event, they responded perfectly in a series of since-deleted tweets. “I’m still breastfeeding <3,” adding, “I only had my baby 7 weeks ago. There’s nothing more ‘American fashion’ than moms having to go back to work after just giving birth lol.”
Given that paid maternity leave and adequate postpartum financial, medical, and emotional support is more than lacking for the vast majority of new parents in the U.S., Halsey’s response rings painfully true for anyone who has welcomed a baby and been expected to return to life as normal within days or weeks.
It seems like fans began pushing back on Halsey for their answer, and they responded to a since-deleted tweet, opening up more about the logistics of trying to attend the event and breastfeed at the same time.
“I wouldn’t have had a way to pump my breasts which would have been insanely painful,” she shared. “I understand I’m incredibly privileged to afford time off but the demands are still prevalent and the biology does not excuse me.”
When addressing yet another keyboard warrior who later deleted their tweet, they continued, “My only point was people expecting me to be there so soon after having a baby and how it’s reflective of a more general social expectation of new moms in far more vulnerable positions. I wasn’t complaining at all!!!!”
One might think people would lay off them at this point, but nope. The questions continued, with some asking why Halsey is currently on the East coast (to see family, which evidently isn’t a good enough reason for some fans) and why the singer was spotted at a different party, sharing that a nine hour-long event simply was not in the cards that day.
Though they didn’t owe anyone a single ounce of explanation, they clarified about why they’re choosing to be so open about their experience as a brand new, first-time parent, and how people place so much pressure on new parents to return to their pre-pregnancy work output immediately.
“I know a lot of my fans are parents but more aren’t either and I feel fortunate to share my experiences in a way that can hopefully connect with everyone in their own way,” she wrote. “Per usual I’m learning in front of the whole world and I’m trying to do it with grace and composure.”
“Idk I got leaky hurty boobs, a bloody swollen uterus, and a human being that depends on me as a life force,” they continued. “I recognize my privilege every single day and the time it affords me with my baby. but like it or not my body is gonna do what it wants. I’m doing my best to juggle it all! I am so grateful. For my baby after everything I went through to get pregnant. For my undeserved comfort to spend time home. For the blessing to make art as a form of employment. But postpartum does not discriminate. That’s all I meant to say.”
Halsey — or any other new parent — does not owe the world any explanation, but we are very grateful to her for being so candid and for helping to normalize what it’s really like to be in those early months postpartum with a brand new baby. Please give new parents (or any parents, actually!) as much grace, respect, and support as possible. It’s truly the bare minimum of what they deserve.