“Hi sisters! In today’s video, I’m trying something I’ll never get to experience—being pregnant! My best friend Laura is pregnant with her second baby so she challenged me to be pregnant for 24 hours to see if I was strong enough to go through what she does! I hope you enjoy the video!” was the last anyone thought of hearing from James Charles as he promoted his latest YouTube video, ‘24 hours being pregnant’ with a photoshoot on Instagram.
Pulling off the iconic ‘cradling my baby bump surrounded by a bunch of flowers’ pose, the picture redirected users to his latest video, which has already gathered a staggering 7 million views on YouTube. The video features Charles donning a prosthetic baby bump and juggling between tasks and challenges scheduled for the day. A contraction simulator and faux maternity photoshoot (which later graced his Instagram) were all part of the challenges as well.
Both the video and photoshoot broke the internet mere minutes after they went live, raking in both support and backlash. “I love you James, but be ready to expect backlash. This wasn’t a good move. It’s very insensitive and I’m generally not a sensitive person. Sorry bud. This ain’t right,” wrote one user, with another following up with “Pregnancy isn’t a trend.”
However, the video has particularly been met with backlash from some fans who found it insensitive to women who struggle to get pregnant or those who have suffered with difficult pregnancies. “To pretend to be pregnant when there are women who cannot,” commented one while the rest pointed out that a member of his team described his pregnancy shoot as “very Halsey” off camera. Halsey, who announced her pregnancy at the end of January, has been very open about her long and painful struggle to conceive due to her endometriosis and has written about her difficult journey in the notes for her album Manic.
Fans on Twitter were also quick to point out that Halsey had unfollowed the YouTube star soon after the video went live.
On the other hand, however, there were many who defended Charles stating the fact that he was trying to “understand” what pregnancy is like and that many others have worn a pregnancy simulator in the past.
All of this feud appears to have taken off even after the YouTube star posted a disclaimer before he went ahead with the challenges. “This video is not being made in any way, shape, or form to make fun of, but to make light of pregnancies and the sensitivities and the complications that come around it,” he had clarified.
“It’s obviously such a beautiful, beautiful thing that women go through with their bodies and it takes a whole lot of strength as well. I know first-hand from watching Laura do it twice now. This is just a lighthearted video to see if I can last for 24 hours experiencing some of the ‘challenges’ that are even possible for me to actually experience today,” ended the YouTube star after noting that a portion of the proceeds from the video would go to different charities that help women through pregnancy complications.
And just when the conversation seemed to be dying down, Charles posted a picture sporting his newly shaved head on Instagram. Internet users once again got to work, following up with his pregnancy backlash and pointing out that he had sported a ‘fake bald head’.
“What’s up with James Charles posting fake everything? He needs to stop tbh,” stated an agitated fan while the other got to screenshotting zoomed-in images to prove their point. As for James, he bathed in the glory of trending on Twitter for the searches ‘James Charles pregnant’ and ‘James Charles bald’ consecutively.
Though there are still triggered fans commenting under his posts, the conversation seems to have taken a lighthearted spin with fans digging up meme templates to use on Twitter. And it finally seems like we’ve come full circle: