James Charles Jokingly Pretends to Be Pregnant and Sparks Backlash With Halsey-Inspired Photo Shoot

YouTube star James Charles simulated a pregnancy and posed with a fake baby bump in a maternity photo shoot seemingly inspired by Halsey. The pics and his comments have stirred some controversy.

By Corinne Heller Feb 13, 2021 9:01 PMTags
Watch: James Charles Faces Backlash for Fake Pregnancy Pics

James Charles is "pregnant" in a recent photo shoot, and some fans are not impressed.

The 21-year-old YouTube star jokingly simulated a pregnancy for 24 hours in response to a dare from a friend who is expecting her second child, fellow influencer Laura Mellado. James wore two silicone baby bumps stacked on top of each other to emulate a woman who is at least 40 weeks along.

He posed kneeling in underwear with his fake belly for a photo shoot, as seen in a pic posted on Instagram and a video shared on YouTube on Friday, Feb. 12. He also put his hands on his bare chest, just like Halsey did when she announced on her own page last month that she was expecting her first child. During James' shoot, an unidentified woman is heard saying, "Yeah, very Halsey." 

James later posted a pic, photoshopped to make him look naked, on his own page. He captioned it with "Surprise," similar to how the "Without Me" singer, who had suffered a miscarriage years ago and underwent laparoscopic surgery to treat endometriosis around her uterus to boost her fertility before recently conceiving, captioned her pregnancy reveal.

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Some people were offended by the social media star's "maternity" pics and remarks.

"I'm sorry but James Charles and his team really filmed that s--t, made those comments and didn't see anything wrong with it?" one user tweeted. "How thirsty for clout can you be?! So gross, disrespectful and insensitive. Also I'm sure he's at an age where he knows that pregnancy jokes aren't ok."

Another person wrote, "Halsey literally had endometriosis. For him or his team to say 'very halsey' while he's taking FAKE pregnancy photos is f--king disgusting and it mocks everything that she's been through."

YouTube / James Charles

James' photo shoot also included a background of mounds of flowers, channeling Beyoncé's famous 2017 Instagram announcement that she was pregnant with twins.

He joked continuously during the session. "I, naturally, because the camera is on, I sucked in my stomach," he said in the YouTube video.

He is also shown doing other activities while wearing his bump. Sporting a black tank top, James drove with his friend to Taco Bell, where he ordered multiple items and surprised a drive-thru worker who appeared to recognize him.

"Sorry for the big order, I'm eating for two today," he told her. "Thank you so much. My baby's going to love that."

It is unclear if James wore his fake pregnant belly for a full 24 hours. During the experiment, he also experienced simulated labor contractions on his real stomach using a digital transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device, which are available over the counter and also often used by both men and women for pain relief.

James said he said he did not plan on actually raising children in real life. "I've always talked about the fact that I love kids but I just, I don't want my own," he said. "I can't. It's not for me."

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