Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly have sparked a conversation about the glamorization of pain after revealing an unusual design feature of Megan’s engagement ring.
Last week, after months of speculation, Megan and Machine Gun Kelly — whose real name is Colson Baker — announced their engagement on Instagram.
“Having walked through hell together, and having laughed more than I ever imagined possible, he asked me to marry him,” Megan wrote. She concluded by announcing that she and Colson celebrated by drinking "each other’s blood" — whether or not she was speaking literally remains unclear.
Their ~unconventional~ proposal certainly raised eyebrows, but it wasn’t until Colson opened up about the very specific design of Megan’s engagement ring that fans’ shock morphed into concern.
If you’ve not seen it, the ring consists of two jewels, corresponding with his and Megan’s respective birthstones, placed on two separate “bands of thorns” which are connected by magnets.
Explaining the intricate design to Vogue on Monday, Colson said: “The ring can come apart to make two rings. When it’s together, it’s held in place by a magnet. So you see how it snaps together? And then it forms an obscure heart.”
He went on to point out that the “band of thorns” is embedded with sharp spikes, meaning that if Megan were to try to remove the ring, the thorns would dig into her finger and cause pain.
“And you see this right here?” he said, seemingly directing the writer’s attention toward the hidden detail. “The bands are actually thorns. So if she tries to take it off, it hurts…”
Perhaps with an air of confusion, the writer responded by calling the design feature “very nice,” which prompted Colson to say: “Love is pain.”
And while the concept of a painful engagement ring is admittedly very on brand with Megan and Colson’s notoriously dark and grungy romance, it didn’t stop people from questioning the potentially harmful messaging behind the design.
In light of the fact that engagement rings originated as a symbol of male ownership, some people suggested that the act of Colson giving Megan a ring that is physically painful to remove seems “possessive and controlling.”
Elsewhere on Twitter, writer and producer Kim Caramele honed in on the underlying message behind the design, suggesting that Colson’s “love is pain” reasoning plays into a damaging and complicated narrative that normalizes abusive behaviors in relationships under the guise of intense love.
“Just a friendly reminder that love is NOT pain,” she wrote to her followers. “That's a damaging message that allows abuse & toxicity to be misinterpreted for love. Love is wanting each other to be happy & to feel good … Pain is never the barometer. I promise.”
Echoing a similar response, another Twitter user accused the couple of “normalizing abuse for attention.”
It’s important to discuss the factor of consent here too. Plenty of fans were also quick to point out that given everything we know about their far-from-ordinary relationship, the design sounds like something Megan would likely be on board with.
However, many others highlighted that even if the design was entirely consensual, it still isn’t really practical for day-to-day life, nor does it lessen the potentially harmful messaging.
“Like, even if you’re into that, this is just impractical,” one reader said. “You need to take your ring(s) off all the time to do basic tasks. Plus I imagine she can’t be wearing it while acting? Like consenting adults can do what they like, but they don’t really need to tell everyone and there should be at least a little thought behind it.”
In agreement, another person wrote: “I take my wedding ring off to protect it, like when I wash my hands or work with chemicals. So Megan can’t take it off for basic things like that without being stabbed? How romantic.”
However, if you know anything about Megan and Colson, you’ll know that their approach to romance is hardly conventional.
Having transcended the limits of simply being “soulmates,” Megan and Colson prefer to identify as “twin flames,” which — according to Megan — is “where a soul has ascended into a high enough level that it can be split into two different bodies at the same time.”
If that raised your eyebrows, then you’ll also probably be shocked to hear that last year Colson revealed that he wears a vial of Megan’s blood around his neck. Speaking to Ellen DeGeneres about this at the time, the singer said: “Some people give a handkerchief to their partner. She gave me her DNA.”
It was probably this statement that first sparked comparisons between Megan and Colson and Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie, who were also known for wearing vials containing each other's blood during the early 2000s.
Inevitably, the addition of the unusual new ring did little to slow these comparisons, with hundreds of fans online suggesting that Megan and Colson might be taking inspiration from the ~edgy celeb couple~ that walked before them.
“This screams Billy Bob & Angelina in the early 2000s,” someone commented on this week's reports.
“They're sending off strong Angelina Jolie/Billy Bob Thornton vibes here,” said another.
And while Angie and Billy Bob — who divorced in 2003 — seem unfazed by the comparisons, Harry James Thornton, Billy Bob’s son, recently agreed that Megan and Colson might have been inspired by his dad’s past antics.
“Ah, they’re copycats!” Harry told Page Six on Thursday, speaking about his dad’s decade-spanning influence. “He’s set trends. I think that’s awesome. I can appreciate that.”