Real — or faking it?

According to People’s Daily Online, an English-language Chinese news site, the bellies have been used for everything from theater to fashion statements.

“Most of the customers have bought the bellies for acting performances or as a joke, though others wanted to experience the life of a pregnant woman,” the owner of one shop that carried the bellies told the People’s Daily.

In celebrity-pregnancy-obsessed America, fake bellies have appeared before as a plot point on “Glee,” and a controversy erupted when some people claimed that Beyonce was faking her pregnancy with an artificial bump.

Since the fake baby bump likely doesn’t come with a faux motherly glow, we wonder if this look will ever be more than just a curious trend. Wearers could reap some unethical rewards for their style choice — like always having a seat on the subway, or the freedom to use expectant mother parking spaces. Hollywood made pregnancy a fashion statement with its incessant tabloid “bump watch” features, but will China make pregnancy, like handbags, just another fashion statement to be faked?

[via Neatorama]

View Photo Gallery: With so many stars sporting baby bumps this year, the stork is working overtime in Hollywood. Here are the celebrities who have recently welcomed children or are expecting.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts.