Halsey wanted to eradicate the “social stigma around bodies and breastfeeding” with the cover art for her upcoming album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power.
The popstar, who is expecting her first child with boyfriend Alev Aydin, took to social media on Wednesday to unveil the controversial imagery, which was shot as part of a 13-minute video filmed at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In the clip, Halsey walks silently around the building, dressed in a low-cut silver sequined halter top and burnt orange head scarf and tunic, before tearing a curtain away from a giant canvas, revealing the image of the musician, topless, holding a child.
She appears to be sitting on a throne and wearing a crown in the regal shot.
“This album is a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth,” the star noted. “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 W**re. 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.”
Halsey went on to explain that the 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 and breastfeeding. I hope this can be a step in the right direction!” the 26-year-old added.
Halsey’s fourth studio album, which was produced by Oscar and Grammy-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails, will be released in August.
The news of If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power was first announced in late June via a billboard in Los Angeles featuring the album title in faint white letters on a black background.