At the photo agencies that we subscribe to, Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas were photographed often by paparazzi right up until mid-November. Then they seemed to be much more low-key through the end of November and the holidays, and all of January. About two weeks ago they were back on the pap radar, with Sophie stepping out in baggy clothes. And then last week the clothes became more revealing, specifically around the mid-section. 


Earlier this week the Daily Mail published exclusive photos of Sophie with her stomach exposed which resulted in pregnancy speculation. I thought about covering it then because I wanted to talk about Rihanna but didn’t because it’s always tricky, now that the culture knows better and is trying to do better where conversations about women’s body are concerned. 

But then Sophie and Joe stepped out again and again, and it’s not like they wouldn’t know about the speculation, because of course they know, they’re young celebrities with a digital presence and they have people on the payroll who are supposed to be monitoring this sh-t, so it feels like these paparazzi photos are almost like… a confirmation? 

Which brings me back to Rihanna, the actual point I’m trying to make about celebrity trends and shifts in the celebrity industrial complex. Three weeks ago Rihanna announced her pregnancy with a staged pap walk, basically declaring the era of the Instagram flower wall pregnancy announcement over and done with. And now we have our second instance of celebrity pregnancy announcement via pap photo with Sophie and Joe’s pap photos. This is the Rihanna Effect. Sophie and Joe’s may not be as staged as Rihanna’s and certainly haven’t drawn the same attention – Rihanna is at a whole other level of fame, after all – but in a short amount of time, we have already seen another celebrity follow Rihanna’s example and it totally fits with Sophie and Joe’s vibe. As well-known as they are, they don’t leave a super thirsty impression. A seemingly casual heads-up like this is on brand. 

So who’s next with the Rihanna Effect? How many more will there be?