Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’re aware that famed YouTubers Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau have gotten engaged. As to be expected when two of the platform’s largest stars announce an impending marriage, the news sent major shockwaves throughout YouTube and the greater entertainment community.
The main shock factor of the engagement wasn’t just the young age of the influencers, both of them being only 21 years old, but also the rashness of the announcement. The announcement came after only two months of dating, making the engagement undoubtedly a fluke, but what do Paul and Mongeau have to gain from basically undermining the sanctity of marriage? Let’s unpack the unsightly mess that is Paul and Mongeau’s relationship.
YouTube and The Rise to Stardom
Jake Paul received his kickstart to fame on Vine and his resume includes a starring role on the Disney show “Bizaardvark.” After being kicked off the show due to his unruly behavior, Paul decided to expand his personal brand by posting outrageous videos of himself on YouTube.
His channel took off with videos such as “It’s Everyday Bro” and “I Love You Bro” that featured his equally famous brother, Logan Paul. He currently has over 19 million subscribers, making him one of the most influential people on YouTube.
Tana Mongeau gained her status as a celebrity through her YouTube channel by posting dramatic storyline videos. Her high-profile relationship, or throuple, with Mod Sun and actress Bella Thorne cemented her reputation as a wild and provocative influencer. Mongeau also raps on the side and is currently working on an album. Her antics and dramatic storytelling has paid off tremendously for the internet personality; she has 4.6 million subscribers and counting on her YouTube channel.
The couple began dating in April of this year, with both Paul and Mongeau having just broken up with their previous partners. Previous to dating Paul, Mongeau was involved with Brad Sousa, who is famous for essentially being a knock-off Justin Bieber. You may remember the viral tweet of Justin Bieber biting sideways into a burrito — yes, that was actually Sousa instead of the real Bieber. Scandalous, I know.
Before his involvement with Mongeau, Jake Paul came out of a relationship with fellow YouTuber Erika Costell, with which he made several scandalous videos. On his channel, Paul posted a video with Costell titled “I Lost My Virginity” that depicted the two in a provocative position. The video posed a concern for Paul’s young viewers, but, like he usually does, Paul was able to finagle his way out of the situation.
Before their engagement, the couple remained vague about the true status of their relationship. They teased viewers by refusing to label their relationship, causing their subscribers to continually tune in to see what would happen next. However, it was obvious that Paul and Mongeau were into each other; they made this apparent with their video “our first time making out on camera.”
However, the (supposedly) true extent of their relationship was revealed when Paul proposed to Mongeau in June, her 21st birthday. On a stage in front of hundreds of people, Paul got down on one knee. Paul posted a picture of the moment on his Instagram, writing “till clout do us part (go watch the proposal video on my channel now!!).”
On Instagram, Mongeau suspiciously captioned the same picture, saying “when ur real life engagement raises ur instagram engagement.” Mongeau posted a Snapchat video of her new sparkler, which is cubic zirconia and cost approximately $125.
The whole incident immediately garnered suspicion as a publicity stunt, and Jake’s photo caption didn’t help. As both halves of the couple are famous for their overdramatic stunts, it was completely plausible that the two would exploit the sacredness of marriage.
Other celebrities came out of the woodwork to comment on the engagement, with the solid majority believing that the engagement was fake. Bella Thorne notably posted a picture of her crying in the aftermath of her ex’s engagement, captioned “when your ex gets engaged” along with a string of crying emojis.
What They Have to Gain From the Engagement
Like everything in Hollywood, it’s obvious that there is an angle being played through the engagement. But why would Paul and Mongeau stage a fake engagement? I think a more appropriate question would be, why wouldn’t they pretend to be engaged?
An engagement is the kind of video content guaranteed to draw in viewers and hopefully cause them to gain more subscribers. Because both Paul and Mongeau both rely on views and subscribers to make a living, they are willing to push the envelope as far as possible.
Conveniently, the 21st birthday party where the engagement took place was filmed for Mongeau’s upcoming reality TV series, “Tana Turns 21.” Once again, the coincidences are hard to ignore. The new MTV series focuses on Mongeau’s crazy life and to ensure the success of the show, the engagement was necessary to garner interest.
In all honesty, an event of importance, such as an engagement, would be needed to actually get attention for the series. But, then again, that comment might be underestimating the influence of YouTubers.
The whole debacle calls into question the sanctity of marriage. Do millennials and Generation Z even care about the meaning of marriage? Or are Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau just giving the younger generation a bad rap? In reality, the situation doesn’t really have anything to do with marriage; it’s simply a story of a boy, a girl and multimillion dollar love affair. As of now, the engagement is still on, so the only thing to do is to sit back and see what happens, just like Paul and Mongeau would want us to do.