How To Craft The Perfect Celebrity Conspiracy Theory

this baby seems real idk

Last week, Buzzfeed posted the most important piece of media this side of the new millennium and it wasn’t that fucking watermelon. Instead it was an article entitled “There’s A Wild Conspiracy Theory That Louis Tomlinson’s Baby is Fake.” Reading it was what I imagine grad school is like: it took a while to get through, there were some rocky parts, but oh man am I an expert about this one very specific, ultimately pointless thing.

If you don’t feel like reading the article (you are missing out), here’s the gist: One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson had a son with a woman he isn’t dating and ever since the kid was born, teenage girls on Tumblr have been looking for clues to prove that the baby isn’t real. They have a lot of them. They have timelines, they have proof of photoshopping, they’re analyzing the feet of Louis’ son and comparing it to Google image searches for baby feet. After reading the article I would love to find one person who isn’t at least a little skeptical of the baby’s existence and that’s why Louis Tomlinson’s fake baby has entered the pantheon of celebrity conspiracy theories.

I care so very little about regular conspiracy theories. I don’t care about jet fuel melting steal beams or grassy knolls or crop circles. Those are all boring. What makes me want to kiss my hand like an Italian chef praising her own work is a good celebrity conspiracy theory. They don’t come around often, but when they do, there’s nothing better. That being said, an exceptional celebrity conspiracy theory is hard to come by, so here are some tips for weeding out the weak.

1. Involve an A-List Celebrity

This should go without saying, but a great conspiracy theory should have broad appeal. No one is going to care if Bella Thorne or Justin Theroux had secret past lives. There needs to be total name brand recognition. If your mom doesn’t recognize the celeb, how is she going to share a meme about it on Facebook? When it comes to celebrity conspiracy theories, the bigger the name the better.

2. Be Concise

You should be able to sum up the conspiracy theory in a sentence. Anything past that is too involved and complicated. Here are some examples:

Beyoncé was never really pregnant.

Katy Perry is actually JonBenet Ramsey.

Avril Lavigne died in 2003 and was replaced by a double.

These are all prime examples of things that you understand immediately. This is also the step at which point the Louis Tomlinson one falters a little bit, but have no fear because what #Babygate lacks in brevity it makes up for in step three…

3. Have Evidence

A conspiracy without evidence is just a rumor, and rumors live a short life in today’s world. Without anything to cling onto, there’s no way your hot goss is getting its own subreddit. That’s why this Louis Tomlinson baby business is so great, because it’s hard to not believe it just a little bit. If you make it to the point in the article where they start messing with the levels of Tomlinson’s Instagram photos to prove that they’re fake, I dare you to look me in the eye and say that you 100% believe that there is no funny business.

This step is more important now than it was in years past. There were all sorts of celebrity rumors in the pre-Internet era that today would be tossed aside due to lack of proof.

Rod Stewart had to get his stomach pumped after swallowing too much semen.

Richard Gere stuck a gerbil up his butt.

Again, there was never any evidence to back these up. They were easy to shut down and were too insane to be real. You’ll know you’ve stumbled upon a great conspiracy theory when even the most level-headed person in the room goes, “Well, maybe…”

4. Be Bold

Truly the celebrity conspiracy theory that is nearest and dearest to my heart is this:

Keanu Reeves is immortal.

It has everything. Everyone’s seen The Matrix. It only takes four words to explain. There’s enough evidence to make you kind of believe it. And lastly, it’s so crazy that you want it to be true. The idea that Keanu Reeves has existed since the dawn of time means that there’s more to the universe than we’re being told, and that’s exciting.

For the most part, everyone knows that celebrity conspiracy theories are not real. Louis Tomlinson’s baby probably has a pulse. Keanu Reeves was probably born in 1964. They’re fun little anecdotes to bring up at parties prefaced by, “Did you guys know that some people think…” They’re the things you have to debunk for your parents when they bring it up at Thanksgiving. But, at least for me, they’re also the things that float into your head sometimes and make you think, “I mean, why not?” Knowing that the world could be crazy enough for the Bush Administration to orchestrate the demise of Britney Spears makes my days a little more interesting, and for that I am eternally grateful to the world of celebrity conspiracy theories.

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