Baby, Baby, No! Why the Bieber Pregnancy Prank Isn’t Funny
While April Fool’s has been around for centuries, it has become less popular among today’s generations. This comedy-derivative holiday has sparked prank wars and ended friendships as well. April Fool’s is meant as a day for foolish fun, harmless jokes, and celebrating the fierce bond of friendships. However, as time has progressed, the subject matter for jokes and pranks has shifted, our collective sense of humor has changed. Morbid and dark humor has slowly replaced the light-hearted pranks that were once the claim to an April Fool’s well done. These jokes are less time-consuming and can guarantee shock from the victim on the receiving end of the prank. But how damaging are jokes of miscarried fetuses and unexpected pregnancies when thousands of women and families experience these very real scenarios?
Trolling Instagram In 2019
The morning was crisp and cool, a perfect way to begin the new month, but on April Fool’s Day of 2019, Justin Bieber posted a sonogram to his Instagram of what he claimed was his child that he was expecting with wife, Hailey. She quickly rushed in to comment, “very funny,” under the photo shortly after. But fans were pulled deeper into the throes of Justin’s conspiracy when he posted another photo, this time with Hailey in a gyno’s stir-ups with medical staff surrounding her. As the day progressed, however, it came to some users’ attention that the sonogram photo was the image linked to the Wikipedia page for the term ‘sonogram’.
It was posted on April 1st, what’s the big deal? Sure, everyone with any inclination toward holidays is aware of April Fool’s and the shenanigans that typically ensue, and yes, some people expect a pass for their troublesome pranks. However, as celebrities with an impressive fan base, they have a responsibility to their audience, most of which are impressionable teens, to be honest, and sensitive to subject matter that is well-known, by 2019 standards, to be in extremely poor taste.
To Those Who Suffer
Pregnancy is not as easy as having unprotected sex.
According to Women’s Health, 10% of women between the ages of 15 to 44 experience difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, (Women’s Health, 2019). And infertility is not just a woman’s issue, either. Nearly 1/3 of all patients found to be infertile are men (Women’s Health, 2019).
There are many reasons for someone to suffer from infertility, ranging from the side effects of medications to syndromes like PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome. Sperm count and even the shape of sperm can be altered by medications, as well as by things like excessive heat in the groin area and drinking alcohol, (Mayo Clinic, 2019).
Families have been torn apart, or brought to the brink of failure, because of the inability to produce children, the losses of multiple children, and the emotional distress those involved experience. Pregnancy loss, the inability to get or remain pregnant, are all real issues that affect so many people. You may even know someone who suffers from these issues. Perhaps you are one of these people.
Pranks like this only act to perpetuate the stigma that many people already struggle with on a daily basis.
Tricksters that eagerly await this holiday, should be looking to make others laugh, to make our mundane week a little more cheerful. April Fool’s is meant to be light-hearted, not a contest of who can be the most controversial. A prank like this only draws criticism and conversation, there is no originality or humor behind it. It’s a manipulation of the young minds who follow these two, very young celebrities, and it almost ensures that their fan base will attempt to reenact the same joke on others in their own lives, spreading the ignorance of other’s suffering even deeper into our societal membrane.
In 2019, we should not be having a conversation about why fake pregnancy scares are not the least bit humorous, but since we are, it must be emphasized that this is something we can put a stop to. Just as other stereotypical controversies, we can find reasonable alternatives to pranks like this and progress to find the true meaning behind April Fool’s.
It is a common theme in the YouTube family-vlogging community to engage in prank wars. Millions of young kids and families tune-in weekly to watch these fun videos, and as the mother of one such kid, I am often the victim of the pranks showcased in the latest episodes. From water being dumped on the head to jump-scares, pranks can range from causing physical distress to emotional. Heck — when I was a kid, even I engaged in pranks. Joking around with my siblings, friends, and occasionally, parents allowed those bonds to become strengthened. We laughed and sighed in relief, because we knew these pranks, deep down, were not malicious in nature. Now, I do not believe that Justin and Hailey’s prank was meant to be anything other than for amusement, but it seems Justin might have been the only one laughing, as even Hailey seemed off-put by the experience.
Either way, there are smarter, more humorous ways to prank people. As a chart-topping vocalist, Justin could have attempted to convey that he had a new album in the works, something that could have garnered a more positive reaction from his fans. Hailey, a gorgeous model, could have faked a dye-job on her famous sandy-blonde locks.
In the end, their fated choices have only increased criticism surrounding the pair, who have been under scrutiny for quite some time. As Justin battles rumors of his love affair with on-again-off-again ex, Selena Gomez, and increasing concern for the singer’s mental health, Hailey deals with insults to her marriage and personal life. One might think that they would shy away from the spotlight for a bit.
However, it’s easy to criticize in retrospect. The Biebers’ should not have to revoke their celebrity status or be shunned from every red carpet, but they should be held accountable, just as others who might be hiding behind this kind of prank.
Humor is an art, a craft that requires work and finesse. If you don’t have the patience or creativity to plan out an efficient prank, then perhaps you should sit back and allow others to unleash their very best pranks on you, instead. You might find that you enjoy being pranked more than being the prankster.