BLACK VOICES
08/23/2017 01:24 pm ET Updated Aug 24, 2017

Halsey Opens Up About Being A 'White-Passing' Black Woman

“I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one."
Singer Halsey talked about politics and feminism in a new interview.
Francois G. Durand via Getty Images
Singer Halsey talked about politics and feminism in a new interview.

Those unfamiliar with the pop singer Halsey’s background might be surprised to learn that she is biracial, the daughter of a black father and a white mother. In a new interview with Playboy, the singer talked about her politics, her feminism, and revealed that she identifies strongly as a black woman, even if she doesn’t look like the typical black girl. 

“I’m white-passing. I’ve accepted that about myself and have never tried to control anything about black culture that’s not mine,” the 22-year-old singer said in the interview published August 15.

She added that she’s proud of her identity, but still experiences “racial blips” from time to time, like “white boys in my life asking me why my nipples are brown.”

“I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one. I’m a black woman,” the singer explained. “So it’s been weird navigating that. When I was growing up I didn’t know if I was supposed to love TLC or Britney.”

The singer also spoke about the work of white allies in the current racial and political climate. 

“White guilt is funny, but this is a really hard time for white allies. 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,” she said.

“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 f**king eyes.”

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