I remember seeing this years ago somewhere in the television, but that’s basically all the info I had. Actually, I already started to think that this thing just existed in my fantasy, as some kind of cross-dressing, transvestite-preggo fetish apparel that I’d dreamt up on the long subway rides to work.
But no! Here it is: the Empathy Belly! And take a look at the features: simulates shortness of breath, simulates bladder pressure of fetal head (something it does by the adjustable positioning of 6 lb. (2.7kg.) weighted bladder pouch for realistic, direct impact on wearer’s own bladder.), and a bladder-repair kid is thrown in for free! And the entire thing comes at $499. Here’s a full list of the features:
- Body weight gain of 30 or 33 pounds (2 sizes)
- Pregnant profile of enlarged breasts and protruding abdominal belly
- Change in physical and personal self-image continuous pressure on the abdomen and internal organs
- Postural changes of the back with an increase in lordosis or “pelvic tilt”
- Shift in one’s center of gravity; low backache
- Mild “fetal” kicking and stroking movements
- Shallow breathing capacity and shortness of breath increase in body temperature, pulse and blood pressure
- A flushing sensation and increased perspiration
- Awkwardness in all body movements
- Pressure on the bladder, with increased sense of urgency and frequency of urination
- Increased fatigue, slowed pace and restricted activity
- Changes in sexual self-image and abilities
(picture taken from Birthways)
Who would say ‘no’ to this? Well, sarcasm aside, I thing the idea behind this suit is not such a bad one. I’m told that being pregnant is one of the most annoying conditions and I’m surprised they didn’t find a way to ‘simulate’ morning sickness. Heck, I didn’t think that suit was a bad idea before I stumbled upon this website. Pregnant women endure some, maybe even all of the symptoms above, so maybe guys should wear one of these things while doing laundry, climb stairs, etc., just to know how it feels…
And as if that is not enough, the same company sells Empathy Lungs,
a unique and powerful tool for smoking prevention and cessation. It is comprised of (1) a custom designed, truss-like garment called a Torso Constrictor, that has (2) two Weighted Pouches that are strategically positioned inside of it, and (3) a customized Restricted Airway Mask. When worn together, these three components will temporarily simulate the pronounced “shortness of breath” or “breathlessness” that characterizes Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (which is comprised primarily of Emphysema and/or Chronic Bronchitis), as well as Asthma and Lung Cancer.
(picture taken from Birthways)
I should add though that the patent on the latter device is…ahem… ‘pending’. Now, I’m not so sure whether I’d like to try a device that
enable[s] the wearer to physically experience COPD’s typically strenuous, labored, shallow, “upper-chest breathing only”, as well as the subsequent fatigue, irritability and emotional distress that inevitably results from the sensation of “not being able to get enough air”.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel this takes a bizarre bend here. Actually, the entire page is somewhat bizarre, no matter how good the idea behind it is. But maybe that’s just me…