and Mary Park
March 20, 2018 02:25 PM

After years of struggling with endometriosis, singer Halsey is speaking openly about the debilitating condition.

The 23-year-old, who was honored at the Endometriosis Foundation of America‘s ninth annual Blossom Ball on Monday night, said she’s over hiding the pain.

“I can’t pretend any more,” Halsey, whose real name is Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, said, after receiving the organization’s 2018 Blossom Award. “I can’t pretend that just because I’m a pop artist and I’m touring, that everything’s perfect and everything’s all good and my skin’s always great and I’m always fit and my outfits are always perfect.”

Halsey said that in reality, she’s often struggling with her endometriosis on tour.

“Sometimes I’m bloated, I’m on an I.V., I’m sick, I’m on medicine, and I’m backstage, terrified that I’m going to bleed through my clothes in the middle of my show,” she said. “That’s the reality of it.”

Halsey
Janet Mayer/Splash News Online

Halsey said that women with endometriosis have had to hide it for too long.

“Reproductive things is not really something people want to talk about, it’s kind of considered a taboo thing,” she said. “Growing up — I know for me — periods were always these hidden thing. You’re sneaking to the bathroom in high school with your tampon tucked up your sleeve. God forbid someone saw it. And because of that, people aren’t really open about the pain, they’re worried people are going to belittle them.”

Her goal now is to bring attention to the condition.

“[I’m] trying to normalize the conversation and say, ‘It’s okay to talk about reproductive illness, this doesn’t make you weak, this makes you strong and you should be proud and vocal,’ ” she said. “And the more you talk about it, the more likely you’re going to help one of your friends who might not know that they have it because they may be afraid of speaking about it, too.”

Speaking out is how Halsey found a few famous friends who also suffer from endometriosis.

“It’s so funny, I just met Julianne Hough a couple days ago at Lorraine Schwartz’s jewelry launch and she came up to me and was like, ‘Hey, I have endometriosis,’ and it’s like an immediate bonding thing,” Halsey said. “Sarah Hyland is another friend of mine who suffers with it.”

“When you’re meeting another woman, it’s almost like you’ve been through the same thing together,” she added. “It’s an immediate bonding experience and you get to look at that peer, that contemporary and think I know what you’ve been through and you get to really admire them for how strong they are and all the things they’ve achieved. You know they’re dealing with illness.”

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