It starts off as small and cute. You find yourself surreptitiously stroking it. You wonder when others will notice. Before you know it, small and cute becomes a cumbersome basketball. And if you're anything like me, going past your sell by date, you can't wait for the freaking balloon to drop already.
But in China, prosthetic silicone 'bumps' are all the rage. According to China Daily, the fake pregnant bellies are available in sizes from 2-4 months to 5-7 months to 8-9 months. Typically sold in costume stores, the bumps are an increasingly popular with women wishing to disguise an adoption or surrogacy.
“We do both exporting and domestic business, but these two groups of clients are buying fake bellies for different reasons," said Wang Rui, a spokeswoman for a manufacturer. "Our American customers, for example, are usually in the entertainment industry, like stand-up comedy, and they use it as a prop to increase comic effects, in addition to their use in art performances, while some Chinese buy the bellies to dress themselves up as pregnant women.”
Costing anywhere from $63 US dollars and up, the bellies are customizable -- from size (the extra large twins) to skin tone, ensuring verisimilitude.
“Many clients request us to keep their names secret while purchasing, and they even tell us to leave the ‘item’ option blank when filling out the information for delivery,” said Wang.
A recent story in the Daily Mail
tells of a man who spent a day carting around a prosthetic bump under his shirt in order to better empathize with the plight of "his very pregnant fiancee."
Nice touch. Now, as this Babble blogger
suggests, if only the fake bump came with "50% added blood volume, sluggish digestion, sciatica like pain, gastric reflux and nausea" the manufacturers would be onto something.
Would you consider wearing a prosthetic bump to save face if you couldn't fall pregnant? Would you buy one for your partner to wear so that he could get acquainted with his pregnant side?