Gwen Stefani's April Fools' Day Prank Upsets Fans

by Michelle McGahan

With an entire tabloid narrative that revolves around her relationship with Blake Shelton, I can see why Gwen Stefani would want to poke fun at the amount of times she's allegedly been pregnant with Shelton's kid. But Stefani announcing her pseudo-pregnancy on Instagram in an April Fools' Day joke, as she did on Friday (April 1), is probably not the best way to go about it. In fact, the singer's Instagram photo — a picture of an ultrasound with the caption "It's a girl" with Stefani's signature — has already upset fans, many of whom are leaving comments on the picture about how frustrating it is to see a prank like this when there are so many women out there who cannot conceive or have miscarried.

It is a response so common, and so important, that think-pieces about how pregnancy is not an April Fools' joke crop up every year prior to April 1. It's an important reminder to the world that while "LOL, I'm pregnant JK" may be funny to you, for countless women out there who are trying to have a child, turning it into a joke is no laughing matter. And many people are calling Stefani out for it.

Bustle has reached out to Stefani’s rep for comment on the backlash, but has not yet heard back.

"Not a funny joke! Coming from someone who can't have children," one user commented on Instagram.

"That is NOT a April fools joke........ why would you make fun of something that alot of women have complications with in their own lives???" another demanded. "No joking matter. Grow up Gwen."

"April fools jokes about pregnancy are very hurtful to people who suffer from infertility @gwenstefani," one fan said, hopeful in her response: "I know you will apologize and didn't mean it maliciously."

Though the photo has now been up for three hours and the backlash is still going strong, Stefani has yet to take it down or apologize for the Instagram — two things that should probably happen.

While it's obvious that Stefani meant no harm by the 'gram, it's easy to see just how painful this type of "joke" can be for women and families who desperately want children but cannot have them, are struggling to conceive, or who have lost a pregnancy. By turning pregnancy into a joke, it makes light of something that is soberingly serious to many.

Good intentions or not — this one calls for some understanding, some humility, and yes, an apology.