Halsey, in breast-baring album cover, celebrates ‘pregnant and postpartum bodies’

·3-min read

Halsey, 26, has been going through two labors of love this summer.

Not only is the two-time Grammy Award nominee about to become a first-time parent any day now with her screenwriter boyfriend, Alev Aydin, but they’re also set to release their fourth studio album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, produced by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

The album will be released on August 27, 2021. 

On Wednesday, the bisexual singer (who uses she/they pronouns) released the album cover art, which shows herself sitting on a golden throne with an adorable baby and a single breast exposed.

Halsey's latest album cover makes a big statement for motherhood and women's empowerment. (Credit: Instagram)
Halsey's latest album cover makes a big statement for motherhood and women's empowerment. (Credit: Instagram)

Oh, and she’s wearing a crown — of course!

“This album is a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth,” the singer captioned the image on Instagram, photographed by Lucas Garrido.

“It was very important to me that the cover art conveyed the sentiment of my journey over the past few months. The dichotomy 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 co-exist 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.”

She continued, “This cover image celebrates pregnant and postpartum bodies as something beautiful, to be admired. We have a long way to go with eradicating the social stigma around bodies & breastfeeding. I hope this can be a step in the right direction!”

Halsey’s fans have been sharing in their joy since they first announced they were pregnant in January.

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"Surprise!" Halsey wrote on Instagram at the time alongside a photo of their baby bump, to which Aydin commented: “Heart so full, I love you, sweetness.”

Halsey has been vocal about living with bipolar disorder as well as endometriosis, a disease where the tissues that line the inside of the uterus are instead present outside of the uterus.

In a 2016 Rolling Stone interview, the singer revealed that she suffered a miscarriage before a performance a year earlier. Yet, she still went onstage.

“It’s the angriest performance that I’ve ever done in my life,” Halsey, who has since blamed her endometriosis for the miscarriage, told the magazine. “I want to be a mom more than I want to be a pop star. More than I want to be anything in the world.”

The singer has also been open about her fertility struggles, telling The Guardian last year that the miscarriage made her feel "inadequate." 

"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," she said at the time. "Then I have to go onstage and be this sex symbol of femininity and empowerment? It is demoralizing."

She elaborated about the experience in her Manic album notes for Apple Music, explaining that due to her health issues, she was beginning to think that motherhood wasn't meant to be. That is, until one doctor's visit changed everything. 

"One day my OB-GYN tells me it's looking like I maybe can [have a baby], and I was so moved. It felt like this ascension into a different kind of womanhood," she explained to Apple Music. "All of a sudden, everything is different. I'm not going to go tour myself to death because I have nothing else to do and I'm overcompensating for not being able to have this other thing that I really want. Now, I have a choice. I've never had a choice before."

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