Singer Halsey gave a stellar performance on Saturday Night Live this weekend but found it a little "weird" to get so many compliments on their body after appearing on the show. Halsey, who gave birth to first baby Ender in July, then shared an honest behind-the-scenes look at their postpartum body — and the very normal changes it's going through — on Instagram.
"I am posting this because no matter what I do people are going to talk about my body. It is [a] confusing symptom of being in the public eye so rather than complain I am going to give you something real to talk about!" Halsey, 27, began their Instagram caption. "I did SNL two nights ago and a lot of people were quick to say how good I looked. That was a weird feeling."
They continued, "My body has felt like a stranger's for a long time. I uphold myself to honesty to the point of over sharing sometimes but this feels important." Halsey explained that the first picture in their slideshow was taken just a few days after giving birth. "A lot of people don’t know that you still look pregnant for a while after," they said. "It is still changing and I am letting it. I have no interest in working out right now. I’m too tired and too busy playing with my darling son."
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Halsey then explained a little more about why they wanted to share these photos now: "With that being said, the body behind all those compliments the other night was wearing a custom tailored outfit and lighted perfectly after much testing, so I could feel good and do my job," they wrote. "I do not want to feed the Illusion that you're meant to feel and look 'great' immediately postpartum. That is not my narrative currently. If you've been following me because you're also a parent and you dig what I'm doing, please know I'm in your corner."
The truth is that "I will never have my 'pre-baby body back' no matter how it changes physically because I have now had a baby!" Halsey said. "And that has altered me forever; emotionally, spiritually, and physically. That change is permanent. And I don't want to go back!"
Of course, it's completely normal for your body to undergo some serious changes before and after giving birth, although what that looks like may be different from person to person. Despite how normal those changes are, new parents often feel immense societal pressure to quickly "get back" to the way their body looked and felt before pregnancy — a literally impossible task, as Halsey notes. Sure, certain postpartum exercises can help build core strength and even address some of the physiological changes that may come with pregnancy, but far too many people feel an overwhelming sense that they need to lose a ton of weight or try to look exactly the way they did before giving birth rather than embracing the natural changes their body went through and continues to experience.
"In the spirit of honesty, I'm really tired and not a superhuman and this is really hard," Halsey ended their caption. "Doing my best to serve my art and my family whilst keeping it all so very real. Love."
This story originally appeared in Teen Vogue.