The Bachelor’s Arie & Lauren B. Posted A Fake Pregnancy Announcement For April Fools’ Day & Fans Are Pissed
Easter came with a side of pranks and well-intended jokes this year, as the day fell on April Fools' Day. My Twitter timeline was filled with gags like saran-wrapped toilet bowls and donuts filled with mayonnaise. But a few people crossed a line with their joking, as usual. The Bachelor's Arie and Lauren B. posted a fake pregnancy announcement for April Fools' Day and fans are pissed at them for it. Jokes like these hit a nerve for anyone who has experienced infertility or pregnancy loss and there are a lot of people out there who have.
UPDATE: Luyendyk tweeted an apology for the prank on April 2, writing, "I do have sympathy for women struggling from infertility. My April Fools prank was in no way meant to offend women who struggle with that. I apologize if you were effected (sic) personally by my post."
EARLIER: Shortly after celebrating the fact that they were moving in together, the former star of The Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk, posted to his Twitter account that he and Burnham were expecting a child together. He tweeted, “Secrets [sic] finally out, we have a bunny in the oven! @laurenburnham91,” along with a photo of a woman holding her belly. The photo didn't show the woman's face, further leading his followers to believe that the photo was of Burnham. About an hour later, Luyendyk posted another tweet in response to his original post that read, “APRIL FOOLS!”
It didn't take long for Luyendyk's followers to point out how inappropriate his post was. Treating pregnancy as something to joke about is an insult to anyone who has suffered through pregnancy loss or infertility, a lesson that Luyendyk likely learned this year.
Some reacted to Luyendyk's initial post hoping that he was serious. While their timing was less than ideal, there was a chance that the announcement was legit.
Unfortunately, that was not the case. After Luyendyk's second post sharing that the announcement was made in jest, the criticism came flooding in.
As many of the comments pointed out, fertility struggles are no joke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 12.1 percent of women between the ages of 15 to 44 struggle with infertility. What's more, 10-25 percent of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage, according to the American Pregnancy Association. That adds up to one in four pregnancies ending in miscarriages, meaning that many of your friends may have suffered through such an experience.
As some of the comments pointed out, many of Luyendyk's had been through infertility, miscarriage, or both. And those who hadn't personally experienced these struggles knew someone who has.
There were some seriously perfect GIFs included in the responses to the post.
These GIFs were the only funny part of the post, considering the pain that pregnancy jokes can cause.
Shortly after posting the two tweets, Luyendyk responded to the criticism on his Instagram story, according to People, with a photo of a recipe and the caption, “Sorry if you were offended, but we really are making a Dutch Baby.” Yes, because more jokes are the answer.
Luyendyk isn't the first celeb to joke about pregnancy on April Fool's Day. In 2013, Lindsay Lohan posted a similar joke on Twitter, and also faced backlash. She has since deleted her tweets, but The Sun reported that she followed the post with another tweet that read, "April Fools. Where's everyone's sense of humor?"
For anyone still confused about why exactly these kinds of posts aren't funny, many women have come forward to share their infertility and pregnancy loss experiences on social media to explain how the jokes can hurt. Kayla Lee Welch shared hers and went viral, telling how found out two weeks before April Fool's Day that she was miscarrying her baby. She ended her post with a plea for compassion:
Please think twice before you post that April fools joke. Because what's funny for a second in your eyes crushes someone else's heart for eternity. #pregnancyisnotajoke.
There are plenty of jokes to make on April Fool's Day that don't have such painful consequences. Next year, think of something a little more original and kind.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.