All hail Halsey.
When Harry Met Sally may be one of the greatest films of all time, but it has a lot to answer for – particularly in its assertion that men and women can never be “just friends”. Indeed, ever since the Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal classic hit cinemas in 1989, we’ve seen countless BFFs (particularly those in the public eye) forced to defend their friendship to the world. Most recently? Halsey and John Mayer.
Earlier this week, the rumour mill went into overdrive when the two musicians began messaging one another on social media.
It all began on Monday 5 November, when Mayer commented, “It’s saying that my billing address doesn’t match with the one of my credit card? I’ve never had this problem before. Can you text me? Thanks,” on a photo of Halsey’s YSL lipstick ad on her page.
Then, a screenshot of Halsey on Facetime with Mayer appeared online (someone alert the elders, amiright?), prompting a flurry of romance reports from over-excited journalists.
Now, though, Halsey has had enough. And, taking to Twitter, she has fired off a message to all those reporters who seem determined to couple her off as quickly as possible.
“I just had a ground-breaking idea,” she wrote. “What if…we let female artists… have friends… without assuming that they are sleeping together?”
The musician added: “I know, I know. It’s like, completely ambitious, but like, imagine if we like, tried?”
Halsey even made sure to call out the source of her frustrations, hitting back at E! News when they reported on her tweet.
“Your platform literally put out the article this tweet is about… am I being punk’d right now?”
Naturally, Halsey’s comments have set the internet on fire, with fans flocking to support and praise her for refusing to conform to the media’s romanticised heteronormative narrative.
Just in case anyone wasn’t already aware, friendship is every bit as important as romance – indeed, sometimes even more so. Shelley E. Taylor, author and a world-renowned expert on stress and health, recently told Positively Beautiful that women are genetically hard-wired for friendship as a means of coping with stress, theorising that a common female stress response is what she calls “tend and befriend.”
Taylor adds that our evolutionary heritage suggests women who formed strong bonds with others were more apt to survive and that, over time, women have learned to turn to their friends for support and solace and have thus become crucial to one another in times of stress.
This may have something to do with the fact that oxytocin, known as a calming hormone, is released during stress, enhancing the ability to nurture and be nurtured.
“Because oestrogen increases oxytocin’s effects, it’s likely to be more important in women’s stress response than men’s,” Taylor says.
All hail the power of female friendship!