“…and a human being that depends on me as a life force.”
The Met Gala returned after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, and we saw plenty of glamorous mamas stun on the red carpet under the theme of ‘American Independence.’
One noticeably missing though was new mam Halsey, who welcomed their first child in July.
Halsey – who uses she/they pronouns – is known for not shying away from braving more daring looks rather than wearing debs-esque dresses that focus more on looking pretty than fitting the theme (like some celebrity attendees), so fans felt their absence from this year’s Ball.
When asked why they weren’t attending the event, Halsey explained 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.”
This tweet referenced this year’s Met Ball theme, as well as US maternity leave policies, which are said to be some of the worst among the world’s richest countries.
But for some bizarre reason, Halsey received backlash for the tweets, prompting them to further explain that the logistics of caring for a postpartum body wouldn’t have allowed for the nine-hour event.
“I wouldn’t have had a way to pump my breasts which would have been insanely painful,” they continued. “I understand I’m incredibly privileged to afford time off but the demands are still prevalent and the biology does not excuse me.
“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!!!!”
Twitter criticism kept coming in, with some questioning why the new mam was even on the East coast if they weren’t planning on attending the Ball – despite the fact that that’s where the singer is from and has multiple relatives who still live there.
“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,” Halsey explained, trying to highlight the difference between complaining and sharing the realities of parenting.
“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. I recognise 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!”
The singer, who has been open about their struggle with endometriosis and a previous miscarriage, also added that they’re “so grateful” for son Ender and all the time their finances allow them to spend with him.
“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.”
We personally don’t see anything wrong with highlighting the problem of an American work culture that forces new parents back into the workforce before they’re ready, and we certainly don’t think Halsey – or any parent, for that matter – owes anyone an explanation on choosing time with their baby over anything else.