Why It's Not Funny for Justin Bieber to 'Joke' About His Wife Hailey Being Pregnant
Sometimes the news isn’t as straightforward as it’s made to seem. Paige Wyant, The Mighty’s Chronic Illness Editor, explains what to keep in mind if you see this topic or similar stories in your newsfeed. This is The Mighty Takeaway.
On Monday, Justin Bieber shared an ultrasound photo of a baby on his Instagram, prompting a mix of congratulations and suspicion. While some were excited to hear the news that Bieber and his wife, Hailey Baldwin, were expecting their first child, the date on the calendar had others calling April Fools’.
Baldwin was quick to write in the comments, “Very funny…,” prompting more fans to believe the post was a hoax.
However, Bieber soon posted another photo of his wife in a doctor’s office, with two medical professionals examining her stomach.
“If U thought it was April fools,” Bieber captioned the post.
The pregnancy seemed to be real after all – and fans poured out their excitement and congratulations for their couple in the comments.
But soon after, Bieber followed up with yet another Instagram post – this time confirming the truth once and for all.
The photo showed an ultrasound, but instead of a baby, an image of a puppy was edited in. In the caption he wrote, “Wait omg is that a,,, APRIL FOOLS.”
This “joke” Bieber attempts isn’t just tired and cringeworthy – it’s incredibly insensitive to the millions of people who struggle to conceive.
According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 9 percent of men and 11 percent of women of reproductive age in the U.S. have experienced fertility issues. Fertility issues can be caused by a wide number of health problems, and are often devastating to those who experience them.
Some individuals or couple may undergo years of costly and intensive treatments, such as ART (assistive reproductive technology) in an attempt to become pregnant, which can be physically and emotionally draining. Some may experience infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths or child loss due to fertility issues.
Many men and women invest so much into trying to become pregnant – and when others joke about the process as if it’s insignificant or meaningless, their words cut deep.
In her essay “Please Don’t Make a Joke of Pregnancy This April Fool’s Day,” Mighty contributor Shireen Hand asked others to think twice before making jokes:
Please don’t be that person. Just stop for a moment and think of the emotional impact your “joke” could have on those around you. Those who face infertility, pregnancy or baby loss don’t have big stickers on their foreheads or flashing signs pointing towards them. Much like chronic illness, these situations are invisible. Women and their partners alike might feel some sort of embarrassment in their plight. Not everyone likes to make it known to the world that their bodies cannot achieve what others can. And, while some of us do speak out about it, it doesn’t make it any easier.
Joking about pregnancy – on April Fools’ Day or any day – is never funny. Bieber and Baldwin may be a “hot” celebrity couple with millions of fans, but that shouldn’t give Bieber a pass to post hurtful or insensitive content.
Maybe it was “just a joke.” But whether you’re a celebrity like Justin Bieber or an average person posting on Facebook, it’s important to be considerate and respectful of the people around you. You never know what someone may be going through.
Lead photos via Justin Bieber’s Instagram