Fake pregnancy bellies have become the latest hot-ticket item in the Chinese online market, according to a report by Ecns.cn.
The products are made of skin-colored silica gel, which give the bellies realistic texture and appearance. Retailing for between 500 and 1600 yuan ($79 to $252), the bellies are available several sizes depicting different stages of pregnancy, People Daily reports.
The most popular belly size replicates the five- to seven-month pregnancy stage, according to Ecns.
An online shop owner told the news organization that most people buy them to use as stage props or to experience pregnancy. But Stan Abrams, a law professor and writer for China Hearsay, says there might be less-than-honorable uses for the faux tummies:
Yeah, right. Experiencing the life of a pregnant woman. How about getting a seat on the bus? Panhandling? I'm sure you jaded cynics can think of other reasons.
The fake pregnancy bellies might make women (and men?) look as if they're pregnant, but Japanese-developed pregnancy simulator dubbed the "mommy tummy" actually lets users experience what it's like to carry a child. However, these technologically advanced gadgets aren't yet available for purchase.
In October, pop star Beyonce raised a few eyebrows after her baby bump seemed to crumble during an appearance on an Australian talk show, igniting speculations about her pregnancy. Some claimed the singer was secretly using a surrogate and was wearing a prosthetic tummy for public appearances, but Beyonce's rep denied the rumors, People magazine reports.