Gaby Rodriguez could have chosen from a whole myriad of projects for her senior year. She could have trained a guide dog, started a recycling program or made a modern day adaptation of Wuthering Heights. But instead what did this 17-year-old A-student do? She pretended she was pregnant.
For six and half months, Rodriguez lied to just about everyone she knew. She told her friends and school mates that she was knocked up and wore a fake baby bump to complete the charade. There were only a handful of people in on the deception; her best friend, her boyfriend, the school principal, and her mother were among those in the know. The rest of her friends and all but one of her seven siblings all believed that she was pregnant. And her boyfriend’s parents? They thought they were going to be grandparents and were apparently hoping for a boy. So why would Gaby Rodriguez pretend to be preggers?
It was a social experiment to study rumors and stereotypes. At an all-school assembly she addressed all the things that were said about her (that had gotten back to her), which were read by fellow students and teachers. She then came clean saying, “I’m fighting against those stereotypes and rumors because the reality is I’m not pregnant.” She shocked the audience as she took off the fake baby bump.
This was news that was a surprise to almost everyone, the audience was apparently filled with emotion, awe and at the end, they gave her a standing ovation. But deceiving almost everyone in your community, lying to your friends and family, disappointing -albeit temporarily – teachers who didn’t want to see Rodriquez as being another teen mom, would that be worth it?
Photo: Flick Rockmysox