For six and a half months, 17-year-old Gaby Rodriguez walked around Toppenish High School with what looked like a pregnant belly. What it was instead was something different altogether--something rather brilliant, in fact.
You see, Rodriguez wasn't pregnant at all. She was wearing a prosthetic belly under her clothes as part of a social experiment to see how her classmates would treat her once they thought she'd been knocked up. The Yakima Herald-Republic has the story.
Only a handful of people -- her mother, boyfriend, and principal among them -- knew Gaby was pretending to be pregnant for her senior project, a culminating assignment required for graduation.
Her teachers and fellow students, except for her best friend, didn't realize they were part of a social experiment.
Neither did six of her seven siblings -- including four older brothers -- her boyfriend's parents, and his five younger brothers and sisters.
"At times, I just wanted to take it off and be done," she says. "I didn't want to go through this anymore."
Rodriguez's ruse was revealed to the students during an emotional school-wide assembly on Wednesday, in which the teen talked about the rumors and hurtful things that were said about her, before taking off the fake prego belly.
The school's principal and the superintendent were in on the fakery from the get-go. Both expressed awe of the sacrifice the Rodriguez made in enduring the experiment.
The whole point was to show the difficulties that pregnant teens face at school--something Rodriguez succeeded at arguably better than anyone else has, ever.