YouTuber James Charles came under criticism for posting a video exploring his experiences with (a fake) pregnancy. Titled "24 Hours Being PREGNANT!!," the 15-minute-long clip was created in response to a dare James's friend, Laura Mellado, shared in a group chat. As the YouTuber explained at the beginning of the video, Laura was convinced he wouldn't be able to get through one day of being pregnant. He decided to prove her wrong.
James Charles pretended to be pregnant for a YouTube video — and fans are not happy.
"This video is not being made to make fun of, make light of pregnancies, and the sensitivities and the complications that come around it," James remarked at the beginning of the video.
In the same section, he also promised to donate a portion of the proceeds to two different charities helping women deal with pregnancy-related complications.
The rest of the clip captures James' attempts to put on two fake pregnancy bellies, his struggles with tying his shoelaces without leaning down, and a quick trip to Taco Bell to satisfy any potential pregnancy cravings. What's more, he attends a maternity shoot, and he tries to recreate the pain women in labor experience using a digital transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device.
Some fans now claim that James's video mocks Halsey's struggles with endometriosis.
James decided to bare all for the maternity shoot — which some fans claim is too similar to one of the photos Halsey (aka Ashley Nicolette Frangipane) posted on Instagram in January 2021 to announce that she is expecting a baby with Alev Aydin.
In the resulting photo, James is sitting on his feet surrounded by flower bouquets. He used a white background, much like in his YouTube videos.
Halsey wore a 70s-inspired crochet bra and a pair of light blue jeans for one part of her maternity shoot. Instead of a studio environment, she opted to hang up a few satin sheets outside, using those as the background.
Some fans claimed James' aesthetic was too similar to Halsey's. Many condemned him for acting insensitively.
The "Hopeless Fountain Kingdom" singer has been open about the complications she had to face due to her struggles with endometriosis, a long-term condition that can cause infertility. Halsey underwent multiple surgeries to treat the condition.
During the photoshoot, one of the people on the set pointed out the striking resemblance between James's pose and Halsey's.
"Very Halsey," said the person.
"Very Halsey .... Halsey went through many surgeries to get this baby while you hype," tweeted @929Deloy929, likely in response to the comment.
"They were saying that in awe of Halsey not to mock her but to say 'oh how cute' nothing bad," argued @Dooderrr1.
Some fans approached the topic differently, asking questions about why James' video was considered offensive.
"Straight cis women getting TOO comfortable using homophobic slurs at James Charles. You can criticize what was disrespectful to Halsey while also keeping slurs like fa--ot out of your mouths," tweeted @hepatItls.