Halsey: ‘I love Target. I love Marshall’s. I love Panera Bread. I love the suburbs’

halsey allure

Halsey used to be “a lot.” Every interview felt like a tear-soaked therapy session, every mood felt extreme, every feeling needed to be immediately validated by the world. But in recent years, they’ve grown up a lot, which is a weird thing to say about a 26-year-old. It’s true though. My old-lady advice to the youths is generally the same: go away for a year or two, figure out your own sh-t, understand that you don’t have to be in the public eye incessantly. Few of the young celebrities understand that though. Halsey understood it. They went away, worked on their sh-t, began living a much healthier life, found someone who loves them and got pregnant. This interview obviously took place before Halsey gave birth, so they talk a lot about their first pregnancy and all of that. Halsey is really funny and real. Some highlights:

She isn’t taking her prenatal vitamins: “I’m going to tell you something that’s going to get me f–king slaughtered on the internet, but I’m going to go ahead and say it. I didn’t take my prenatals. I took them the first two months, and then the vomiting got really bad, and I had to make a choice between taking my prenatals and throwing up or maintaining the nutrients I did manage to eat that day. I was on so many medications — Diclegis and Zofran and all these anti-nausea, anti-vomiting medications. I went to my doctor, crying my eyes out, and I was like, ‘I haven’t taken my prenatals in six weeks. Is my baby okay?’ I was so angry with myself. You have one f–king job! One job! Take your prenatals! Your body’s doing everything else, you can’t even do that. I felt like such a failure.”

Halsey thought she was going to have such an inspo pregnancy: “When this pregnancy started, I was like, ‘You’re going to do yoga and eat flaxseed. You’re going to use essential oils and hypnobirth and meditate and f–king journal every single day.’ I have done none of those things. Zero. None. I eat cookies and had a bagel every single day for the first five months of my pregnancy.”

Loving a low-key middle-class life: “My favorite place is Target. I love Target. I love Marshall’s. I love Panera Bread. I love the suburbs. It calms me down. You have to remember, this is what the world sees, right? I’m the tattooed rock star named Halsey, but growing up, I was a girl from New Jersey named Ashley. I had the most basic name. I lived in the most boring place. I felt really unremarkable. I graduated high school when I was 17 and we moved to New York, and that’s when I was like, I don’t want to be one of seven Ashleys in my class. I went to a hibachi restaurant the other night because I was craving fried rice. We walked in and it’s dimly lit, there’s no one there, it’s in a strip mall, and I’m drinking, like, a Shirley Temple. And I was like, ‘I feel so calm right now.’ It felt like I was in New Jersey again.”

The boyfriend/partner Alev Aydin: “Nobody knew I was dating someone. As if people were entitled to an update, like, ‘I’ve met someone, we’re going on dates, it’s getting serious, they’ve moved in, we’re planning a child, we are having a baby, we had a baby, this is the gender….’ I signed up to give my whole life away; my loved ones didn’t.”

Using the pronouns she/they: “I’d be staring at the ceiling, going, ‘What does this mean?’ I don’t spend that time questioning or wondering anymore. The whole thing to remember about pronouns and identities is that they’re not meant for other people. They’re meant for you to help better understand yourself.”

Being biracial and “white passing.” “A lot of people try to write off a lot of my experiences because I present white. No matter how many tears I’ve shed because I’m not connecting with my family or my culture in a way that I would like too, or because the waitress thinks I’m the babysitter when I go out with my family, none of that would compare to the tears that I would shed for presenting phenotypically Black and the disadvantages and the violence that I would face because of that.”

Helping their child understand where they came from: “I’m biracial, Alev is Middle Eastern, and our child is going to have a Black grandfather and a Turkish grandfather — there’s Christmas and there’s Ramadan. They’re going to grow up in this kind of multicultural home and I have new challenges because of that.”

[From Allure]

I loved what Halsey said about feeling calm in places which remind them of New Jersey – the strip malls, the chain restaurants, Target and Marshall’s. People look down their noses at that kind of thing but guess what? That’s how a lot of people live and it is relaxing to a lot of us. As for not taking their prenatals, Halsey reveals in the interview that their doctor did a full checkup and they was fine. “Not taking prenatals” didn’t hurt the baby. And I love what Halsey says about eating cookies and bagels too. They sounds like they’ve had a really lowkey pregnancy.

Halsey also complained about this cover interview after it was published, arguing that while she/they use she/they pronouns, Allure never used “they” in the article. Halsey said they would not speak to journalists from here on out.

Cover & IG courtesy of Allure.

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29 Responses to “Halsey: ‘I love Target. I love Marshall’s. I love Panera Bread. I love the suburbs’”

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  1. Esmom says:

    She looks beautiful on the cover. Allure really has a knack for amazing cover shots that put a new spin on famous faces. But clearly they have a ways to go as far as respecting their subjects, JFC.

    I get that she would find comfort in the homogenous vibe of the suburbs. It’s generally easier to navigate than in the heart of the city, too, as unsustainable as the model of suburbia generally is. As the Earth heats up, urban design just makes more sense than excessive sprawl that just sucks up resources.

  2. Snuffles says:

    Pretty sure Halsey is bi-polar and that’s why she came across as “a lot”. I’m sure she has also been working on herself and taking her meds.


      That was my exact reaction. She’s been very open about, and with her struggles about the tension between taking medication and remaining creative. I found the comment about moods being “extreme” to be out-of-touch and ignorant.

      As someone with the same diagnosis as Halsey, I am very heartened to hear that based on what we know now, it was a happy pregnancy. The issue of these medications and third trimester fetal development are serious, and she’s at greater risk of post partum depression and post partum psychosis than people without this mental illness. I don’t think they’re obligated to share their process at all. For me, just sensing their palpable joy gives me hope.

  3. Zantasia says:

    Asking because I don’t want to do it wrong (but really, is there a wrong in language as long as you get the point across) —if they refers to a single person, would it still be “they were” or “they was”?

  4. Sequinedheart says:

    Panera bread is hospital food.

    • Jane Smith says:

      Yes! It’s awful. I met a friend there a few weeks ago. I had a muffin. It was so bland! I had to go to Kroger to get a muffin that tasted good afterwards.

      • Southern Fried says:

        I found their meats to be wet, so disgusting. I do love their bear claws but that’s about it.

  5. Lex says:

    Halsey is ridiculous. She’s a quarter black, yet she pushes this “white passing”, but she is mostly white? Also, my favorite story of her is that she was a huge Harry Styles/One Direction fan back in the day, and had a huge tumblr following. She used to write horrible songs about Taylor Swift because Taylor dated Harry. Now, she’s all buddy buddy with her. Tumblr still talks about her because she was so out there.

    • Snuffles says:

      Are you American? Because in America, a lot of white people have the “one drop rule.” My father has a similar complexion and hair texture like Halsey. And, technically, he’s more white than black, but he identifies as black. (But when people meet him for the first time they will guess everything else EXCEPT black). Mainly because growing up in the South he wasn’t given any other option. If Halsey identifies with her black side, she’s entitled to.

    • mae says:

      Her father is Black. She is half Black. This is an incredibly misguided comment.

      • Lex says:

        Her father is mixed, he has a white mother and a black father. So she is a quarter black. She is entitled to say she’s mixed/black, however she wants to identify, but people can also call her out for the things that she says.

      • mae says:

        Again, your comment is incredibly misguided.

      • Lex says:

        How? Give me a break. I haven’t been disrespectful, we are allowed to discuss things like this.

      • Anna says:

        @Lex This has to do with U.S. culture and what those who live it/experience it shouldn’t be called into question. Halsey is free to identify how they wish based on their familial, racial and cultural heritage, and that is not based on how you may see them visually. That’s the whole point. In this country, she is Black. And the same goes in other countries when it comes to non-white populations who have been colonized by white supremacy. Look at Australia where one of the governmental policies was to round up Indigenous children, including those who were of mixed race, and try to breed the indigenous out of them over generations. This is a longer history than we can get into here but suffice it to say, Halsey is Black whether you agree or not, and the experience they detail about being mistaken for the nanny is common among mixed race women with white partners whose children are very white-passing. Additionally, percentages are a dangerous game. Most Black people in the U.S. are already mixed genetically so when we speak of 25% or 50%, it’s a very surface delineation as in, if someone’s parents are biracial of Black and white and then the other parent white, then yes, very generally, one can be said to be a quarter Black. Let’s not invalidate their experience especially with the truth with regard to race in U.S. If you aren’t familiar, perhaps more research is warranted.

    • Ky says:

      Being Black is not just genetics it is also culture.

    • Winnie Cooper’s Mom says:

      @ Lex, I’m curious if you share these thoughts about Duchess Meghan as well? She’s 25% black like Halsey. An individual should be able to publicly identify however they wish. She might be more bonded with her family members that are POC, and want to relate to them more than her white family members. She’s just living her life on her own terms.

  6. Rose says:

    She’s way too much, not nearly as fascinating as she thinks she is and if she’s refusing to do press now, I absolutely support that decision.

  7. Holland S says:

    These pop stars of today are tiring. I know too much about their mental health and struggles. I just can’t get into it. I suppose it’s helping their fans to think “Stars—just like us!” But they are not; they are rich and privileged.

  8. Em says:

    You take prenatals primarily to ensure you get enough folic acid (among other vitamins) to prevent neural tube defects because they are devastating for the child. Yes, it makes most women nauseous to take these giant horse pills but it’s with a serious reason.

  9. emu says:

    If you’re “she/they”, wouldn’t using “she” work as well? Like “she said” rather than “they said” ? It’s not she/their? or they/her? Or just have to mix it up every once in a while?

  10. Deering24 says:

    “My favorite place is Target. I love Target. I love Marshall’s. I love Panera Bread. I love the suburbs. It calms me down. You have to remember, this is what the world sees, right? I’m the tattooed rock star named Halsey, but growing up, I was a girl from New Jersey named Ashley.”

    Funny thing—people kill themselves to become famous and stand out…but if they have sense, they go back to what made them happy as the non-famous person they once were.

  11. Jillian says:

    I’m going to say something crazy: they look good in that curly mullet, it works

  12. The Recluse says:

    I view Target as the latest incarnation of places I used to visit as a kid: Gibsons, T.G. &Y, etc, and Marshalls is handy, so is Ross. There aren’t a lot of options in my small town aside from vile Wal-Mart, which I refuse to patronize. I was so relieved when we got a Marshalls and Ross. I can get my practical things from them.

  13. softtoothbrush says:

    we got those in the city too tho..

  14. Isa says:

    I know it’s the internet but damn, I would hope someone with multiple losses that so badly wanted a baby, that was so sick and went to their doctor crying, wouldn’t be raked over the coals for not taking a prenatal. It’s obvious that if they could’ve they would’ve. I never had morning sickness and even I can understand. I know of women that could only keep down certain foods, and some women that couldn’t keep down anything at all and ended up in the hospital with IVs that had healthy babies. We just do the best we can and I have no doubt that Halsey did the best they could.