The 26-year-old “Graveyard” singer participated in a viral social media trend on Sunday, December 27, telling her followers to prompt her to share certain memory on her Instagram Story. When one user asked her to show “you at your lowest point,” she shared a topless mirror selfie in which she looked extremely thin.
“TW: ED. ask for help,” the New Jersey native captioned the since-deleted pic.
Fans were quick to question the purpose of sharing an image that could potentially be triggering to others who struggle with body image and eating disorders. “Posting your bodychecks at your lowest weight is not a good way of inspiring disordered people to recover and idk why these ‘recovery posts’ still do this,” one Twitter user wrote. “I saw halsey’s ig story with her bodycheck, and all I could think of was how I wanna look like *that*.”
Others commented that the slight warning Halsey did include didn’t accomplish its goal since the image was still “in clear plain sight.”
“I’m glad she shared this but the way she did was harmful. [Eating disorders] are a different breed of triggering content,” one user noted. “You have to be careful how to display it because you can destroy someone’s progress.”
One day after the picture sparked controversy, the Grammy nominee took to Twitter to set the record straight.
“TW: disordered eating. I am very sorry for posting a photo of myself depicting my struggle with ED without a sufficient trigger warning. I was very nervous to post it and didn’t think properly,” she wrote on Monday, December 28, after her post went viral. “I had positive intentions. I would never want to harm someone who shares my struggle.”
The apology continued: “With that being said I’m gonna log off now because this has turned into something I am not emotionally equipped to handle for the time being. I hope that’s OK.”
Since her whirlwind rise to the top of the charts, Halsey has spoken openly about her battles with both disordered eating and bipolar disorder. While speaking with Rolling Stone in June 2019, the “Without Me” singer opened up about being “committed twice” to receive professional help after her career took off.
“No one’s known about it. But I’m not ashamed of talking about it now,” she said at the time. “It’s been my choice. “I’ve said to [my manager], ‘Hey, I’m not going to do anything bad right now, but I’m getting to the point where I’m scared that I might, so I need to go figure this out.’ It’s still happening in my body. I just know when to get in front of it.”
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association at 1-800-931-2237.