There's Something a Little Troubling About the Viral Male Pregnancy Reveal Video
A YouTube video of a man telling his wife she is pregnant made the rounds on social media this week. Produced by Sam and Nia, a couple who shoots an eponymous YouTube series, the video starts with Sam saying he received a text from his wife telling him she was two weeks late, indicating she might be pregnant.
He's super excited about it, obviously.
Cute, I guess!
Then things start taking a sharp left turn. Sam has a plan for finding out if Nia is pregnant, and it's a little, shall we say, unorthodox — not to mention gross:
Apparently, Nia has a tendency to use the bathroom frequently at night without flushing the toilet because she doesn't want to wake up her kids. Knowing this, Sam gets a pregnancy test and dips it into his wife's urine while she's asleep in the next room.
As it turns out, Nia is pregnant. Sam is thrilled.
So he decides to present her with the positive pregnancy test the next morning. At first, she doesn't believe him.
But then Sam is like, "Nuh-uh, joke's on you, I scooped your pee out of the toilet while you were sleeping and you're pregnant." And she's happy! But she's also kinda annoyed about it, and rightfully so.
The video ends with the jubilant couple confirming their pregnancy in a time-lapse video before telling viewers to subscribe. It's an aww-worthy moment — or at least, it's supposed to be.
Does no one care this guy stole his wife's pee from the toilet? The video is another entry in the ever-expanding pregnancy reveal video canon. Except, as Sam notes in the clip, it might be the first in which the husband informs his wife she is pregnant — rather than the other way around.
That might be why the clip has gone viral since it was posted Wednesday, racking up more than 4 million views and 3,000 comments. "I've seen it like 4 times and I'll probably watch it a couple more times...this is the sweetest video ever <3," one commenter wrote, while another chimed in: "This is one of the cutest things I've ever seen!"
If you think stealing your partner's bodily fluids without her consent so you can make a viral video out of it is "cute" behavior, think again. Turns out, a lot of people don't.
Aside from the fact the video has the whiff of a staged viral stunt — they are, after all, popular YouTubers — the video raises a few uncomfortable questions.
Happy as Nia is in the video, she's right that what Sam did is "not fair" — not only because she had plans on how to break the news to him later, but arguably because it's her baby, in her body, she'll be carrying for the next nine months. As the woman, she decides how to reveal her pregnancy and when — after all, the entire process starts with her.
The problem with viral "surprise" videos: Moreover, Nia seems stunned Sam beat her to the punch with such a sneaky move. And in doing so, he upped the game for viral "reveal videos," an ever-expanding genre that includes proposal videos and pregnancy reveal memes. While these videos are certainly poignant, they set the bar for how to mark such life cycle events — engagements, pregnancy announcements, sex-of-the-baby unveilings, even promposals. They're elaborate, they take planning and they end up being very public.
They also end up giving one person the power while the other passively has the surprise thrust on them without their consent.
In Sam and Nia's clip, there are serious boundaries being breached between two parties: Just as Nia didn't consent to Sam rooting around in the toilet for her urine like a goddamn stalker, so too do the women in most engagement memes not consent to being featured in a viral meme beforehand.
Not everyone wants to broadcast their most intimate life moments on YouTube (for some people, like the woman in this chicken sandwich proposal video, it can be humiliating). But even for those who are OK with this type of publicity, like frequent YouTubers Sam and Nia, these viral reveal videos up the ante — and not in a good way.