By Audrey Tan

Whether it’s the latest member of the British royal family or a big Hollywood star, the public has always been fascinated by celebrity pregnancies. Just take Rihanna’s recent iconic Superbowl performance, where she announced that she’s pregnant with baby number 2. The media just couldn’t stop reporting about it!

It seems like everywhere you look, whether on social media or in traditional media, there’s news that a celebrity is expecting a child. But why do we take such an interest in celebrity pregnancies? 

Celeb Baby Fever

For starters, it’s important to acknowledge that celebrities significantly influence our culture. Always in the spotlight, we’ve made it our mission to know everything there is to know about them and their lives. From their homes and weddings, addictions, even down to what they eat, we often look to them as role models or sources of inspiration. 

So, when a celebrity announces they’re pregnant, it can feel like a shared experience with someone we admire. Being in the baby club somehow makes the star more “human” and, therefore, more relatable. And since we’re already invested in their lives, the pregnancy news can be exciting and heartwarming. 

Secondly, there’s an element of escapism when it comes to keeping up with celebrity news and pregnancies. Life for many people these days can be stressful, overwhelming, and mundane, so following the lives of famous people can offer a brief respite from everyday worries. 

Speculating about the baby’s name, gender, and due date can be a fun way to pass the time while feeling like you influence these decisions or are part of the celebrity’s inner circle.

Talking about famous pregnancies can also be a harmless way to connect with one another, rather than gossiping about someone you know—no one really gets hurt (as long as you keep it offline!). It’s not uncommon for people to chit-chat about celeb baby news with coworkers or discuss the latest updates in online forums. 

The experience can be a way to feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Many people feel a sense of community when following celebrity baby news, providing an opportunity to bond with friends and family. 

For millennials and Gen-Zers who grew up with the internet and social media, staying up-to-date with the latest celebrity news and happenings can be viewed as a form of social currency. Keeping up with the Kardashians (or any other A-List celebrity) is a surefire way to show that you’re on-trend with whatever’s happening in pop culture right now.

Media Hype

Our fixation on celebrity pregnancies is also driven by the media. Tabloids and the plethora of online websites relish the rumours and speculation that baby news brings. We’ve all seen the “Is she? Isn’t she?” headline alongside a blurry paparazzi shot of a celebrity with the slightest baby bump. They know that stories like these will get a lot of attention, so they are quick to report every update, making it challenging to avoid them.

Nevertheless, exciting as a new baby in the celeb world may be, it is vital to recognise that there are negative consequences to the public’s unhealthy fixation on them. For one, it can perpetuate unrealistic beauty and body standards for other pregnant people. 

Celebrities are often under immense pressure to maintain their appearance during pregnancy and to quickly “bounce back” after giving birth. This can create unrealistic expectations for non-celebrity parents who may not have access to the same resources and support systems.

The constant media attention can also be overwhelming for famous parents and their families. We mustn’t forget that celebrities are humans too. Pregnancy is a personal and intimate experience, and the scrutiny of the public eye can be intrusive and stressful. The never-ending paparazzi presence can make parents feel uneasy and prevent them from fully enjoying the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

We also must consider the pain it can cause for those trying to have a child, perhaps unsuccessfully. Having constant reminders that someone famous is having a baby can be triggering for them. And, if a celebrity loses a baby or has a very ill baby, it also can dredge up pain for those who have experienced similar heartache. 

The obsession with celebrity babies can distract from more important issues. While following celebrity news is entertaining, real-world problems deserve our attention and energy. The media’s focus on famous bumps can sometimes detract from more pressing social and political issues. It’s essential to maintain a sense of perspective.

Our fascination with babies in La-La-Land can be both positive and negative. It can provide a sense of escapism, community, and connection, but the constant media attention and pressure on celebrities to maintain their appearance during pregnancy can perpetuate unrealistic standards and distract us from more critical world problems. Be entertained, but remember that Rhianna having a baby is not the most important thing in the world for anyone outside her inner circle.