“Closer” singer Halsey recently opened up about her experience as a ‘white-passing’ black woman. In an interview with Playboy magazine, Halsey, who has a black father and white mother, discussed her bi-racial identity, white allyship and gave insight into her perspectives on political correctness and all of it was questionable.
“I’m white-passing,” the 22-year-old said in the interview published on August 15. “I’ve accepted that about myself and have never tried to control anything about black culture that’s not mine.”
In addition to saying she was confused as to whether she should be drawn towards TLC or Britney Spears
during her childhood, the “Now Or Never” the singer referenced a joke she makes to illustrate one of the conundrums of being bi-racial.
“One of my big jokes a long time ago was ‘I look white, but I still have white boys in my life asking me why my nipples are brown,’” she said. “Every now and then I experience these racial blips. I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one. I’m a black woman. So it’s been weird navigating that.”
When discussing the criticism that comes with being in the limelight, Halsey discussed political correctness and “first culture,” which the interviewee defines as the universal desire to break news. This is where you may shift in your seat.
“That’s completely what it is” Halsey said. “Everyone’s goal is to be the one to find out that someone’s doing something wrong.”
“A girl will post a photo of herself with braids and the first response will be ‘This is cultural appropriation. What the fuck is wrong with you?’ she continued. “And the girl will say, ‘I’m half black.’ Then the person’s like, ‘Oh, sorry. You look pretty.’ We’ve become traumatized because so many people have actually committed cultural appropriation, but our instinct is too reflexive.”
Halsey then sympathized with white people because “it’s a hard time for them.”
“White guilt is funny, but this is a really hard time for white allies,” Halsey went on. “People don’t want to do too much but want to do enough, and in my bubble of Los Angeles I’m surrounded by a lot of good people with a lot of good intentions.
“But as I learned in this past election, my bubble is just a small fraction of how this country operates. That is ultimately my greatest frustration with the public perception of any sort of activism: the mentality of ‘Well, it’s not affecting me.’ Open your fucking eyes.”