Hailey Bieber is pregnant! Baby Bieber is coming! What started as bloating soon became an ovarian cyst which soon became a baby. If the internet is to be believed, Hailey Bieber, wife to Justin Bieber, is pregnant.

Indeed, a quick glance at X and TikTok – where blurry paparazzi videos and images of Bieber’s face and body have proliferated in recent weeks – appears to confirm that which remains very much unconfirmed: that Hailey is pregnant. In the last month alone, Google Trends has noted that searches for ‘Hailey Bieber pregnant’ have spiked by 130%. Despite no concrete evidence, just a maelstrom of rumours, the internet has deciphered that Bieber would only be wearing a smock dress if she were pregnant; that she’d only be covering her stomach if she were pregnant. These, the internet is keen to impress, are seemingly actions reserved exclusively for those who are expectant.

Except, they’re not. But the internet feels a sense of possession over the Rhode founder. Despite no confirmation from Bieber herself, X users have been taking to the platform to share messages of congratulations. ‘hailey is going to be the ABSOLUTE BEST mother in the world,’ one user wrote, while another noted that ‘BABY BIEBER IS COMING.’ The evidence for their claim? ‘That dress and those legs will never lie annddd they are also not attending met gala,’ they wrote.

The provenance of the rumours pertaining to Bieber’s body can be traced back to the first weekend of Coachella 2024, during which the entrepreneur cocooned herself in a slouchy Balenciaga leather jacket. A matter of weeks later and the Biebers have reportedly been spotted by fans in Hawaii. Videos shared to X of the pair show the daughter of Stephen Baldwin wearing a white smock dress and walking with, what the internet has decided, is a ‘pregnancy walk.’

The apparatus upon which Bieber constructed her image comprised of her wearing clothes that held, hung on and hugged her body. Victoria’s Secret and Calvin Klein Underwear campaigns followed, and therein began the journey of her body being inextricably linked to her brand of being, what Jia Tolentino referred to as, ‘an ideal woman.’ The moment Bieber started wearing clothes – and even holding herself – that defied the messaging she’d been known for sartorially fog-horning, they filled in the gaps she left in her wake. The only way that Bieber would not show her body at Coachella or in Hawaii would be if she were pregnant. Right?

Declaring Bieber pregnant doesn't fertilize her eggs, nor does the statement make it true

In October, Bieber told GQ how ‘disheartening’ she finds it to have to disclose the state of her fertility, particularly after she has previously to having an ovarian cyst that makes her feel ‘nauseous and bloated and crampy and emotional.’ Bieber’s not alone either in having to deter detractors on the internet. Kourtney Kardashian and Vanessa Hudgens have also had to field pregnancy rumours, with the High School Musical alum writing back to one Instagram user: ‘Not pregnant so y’all can stop.’

Here’s the real headline here: declaring Bieber pregnant doesn’t fertilize her eggs, nor does it ratify the statement true. But the reality for the entrepreneur is that to be a famous woman is to be caged in the eyes of the world. Caged and frozen like a Damien Hirst artwork preserved in formaldehyde. Nuance is merely something that flushes itself through the system of the internet, rather than a tangible notion that is combed through general sentiments. The parasocial relationships that fans have developed with Bieber have blurred their vision. A woman really can just wear an oversized jacket or a smock dress or want to hold the stomach that holds all of her vital organs and it not mean a single thing more than her just wanting to do those things. It certainly doesn’t ‘confirm’ that she is pregnant.

Evolution is necessary to growth, and as Bieber grows and changes – the same way that all of us will – she deserves to be given grace to expand beyond the cage in which her fans have trapped her in in their minds. Grace to experiment with her style and for her stylistic decisions to be just that rather than guises under which she is ‘hiding her bump’.

The louder the noise around Bieber’s body, the quieter she becomes. If people want to really hear what Bieber has to say about a potential pregnancy, either now or in the future, they’ll need to quiet their noise to allow the words to fall from her own mouth. Ultimately, Hailey Bieber is human too and she deserved to be treated as such.

This article originally appeared in ELLE UK.

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