Women supporting women and raw, unedited magazine covers are two things this world needs more of, and Halsey's Rolling Stone cover of "The Hot Issue" accomplished both. When she shared the steamy image on Instagram, her exposed underarm stubble sent people into a polarized frenzy. Some, including singer Demi Lovato, praised Halsey for rocking something real. Others trolled her with sickly green emojis and hate, but the empowering comments prevailed.
In the photo, Halsey is sporting a basic white tank and is posed with her hands rested behind her curly pixie cut. Minimal makeup and a simple gold chain necklace accessorize the look. The cover line called her "Pop's queen of chaos."
"There so much yes about this picture idk where to start," Lovato commented with the raised hands emoji. Fans of the duo sounded off in the replies, praising their supportive friendship (and begging for a music collaboration).
"WE STAN FEMALES SUPPORTING FEMALES!!!!" @emilllyward on Instagram wrote. Others loved the fact that her shaded underarms don't appear to be photoshopped, as they likely would have been in a past, less inclusive version of mass media. "I'm super proud of @iamhalseyfor it not being photoshopped out," @honeybeaneileen on Instagram replied. "That's what NORMAL looks like. More of this equals less ignorance about what women ACTUALLY look like."
Twitter user @pjmslilfairy echoed that sentiment. "A lot of women (me being one) are actually very insecure about their armpits," she wrote. "It's ridiculous but we're suffocated by the pressure of society telling us that every inch of us needs to be perfect. IT DOESN’T!" Some users did have negative comments about Halsey's natural look, but thankfully, the positive ones seemed to rise to the surface.
Lovato wasn't the only one of Halsey's peers who showed her some serious love for her cover. Singer Benny Blanco commented, "rockstar status," and musician Fletcher wrote, "Hot issue is RIGHT."
Halsey is known for being resilient and outspoken when it comes to body positivity and female autonomy, so it comes as no surprise that she made a related statement with her Rolling Stone cover. In a recent interview with Zach Sang on The Zach Sang Show, she discussed how those efforts overflow into her new single, Nightmare.
"I think that tackling subjects in this manner can be difficult. Because the thing with a song is, you have three minutes and 30 seconds," she said. "It's even less than that with repeated choruses. And it also has to rhyme and sound good. And it's like, alright. Got it. So I need to take on female autonomy and the patriarchy. And I have a minute and thirty seconds."
What matters, though, is that instead of avoiding her responsibility as an influential person to inform and enact change, Halsey takes it very seriously. She wants to use her voice to make change in every way, shape, and form that she can. And if it's not in her music or on social media, it's on the cover of magazines. Best of all, she has fellow singers like Lovato cheering her on.