On Thursday, the New York Post’s Page Six tweeted side-by-side photos of Blac Chyna and Kim Kardashian with the caption, “Hmm... #BlacChyna’s pregnancy style sure is giving us flashbacks. #KimKardashian.” In the image, both women are wearing tight knee-length tube dresses and long, silky-looking jackets.
In all fairness, Blac Chyna’s maternity style has been fairly low-key — her outfits have mostly been made up of track suits and one-pieces. It’s entirely possible that this was the moment she decided to wear a tight white tank dress because it was comfortable, and she paired it with a long sleeveless jacket to streamline the look.
Ask any pregnant woman and she will tell you that this is not an outfit Kim Kardashian invented. Twelve years ago, when I was pregnant with my son, during the era gossip anthropologists refer to as B.N. — Before North — I wore a strapless, tight tube dress to a wedding. I felt exposed. Ass out to here. Boobs out to there. Belly like a shelf. So I draped an oversized shawl, known in my world as a schmatta, a staple in pregnancy stores, over my shoulders to cover up the extra skin and all that cleavage. The picture of me in that dress is one of my favorites from that pregnancy, because even though I’m as big as a house, I look sexy; my belly’s exposed, but the baby doesn’t take center stage. My femininity is the focus.
“When you wear a tight dress, it actually makes you feel sleeker,” Crystal, the receptionist at my hair salon, who is eight months pregnant, told me. “When you wear a loose dress, it makes you feel like you’re wearing a muumuu.” Not to mention, tight dresses bring support to your belly once round ligament pain kicks in, usually around the sixth month, when your hip joints between the bones in your pelvis literally expand to make room for the baby. A tight dress can work like a bellyband; 1,200 pregnant women reviewed this bellyband on Amazon, and I’m sure none of them was compared to Kim Kardashian.
The thing is, Blac Chyna has already proven that she is a master of vengeance. She removed the father of her first child, a man who cheated on her with a 16-year-old, from the Kardashian family, forcing him to survive on his own merits, which isn’t much. Her new child will take the Kardashian name, which, in certain circles, carries tremendous social weight. Roxane Gay deemed her a “ninja.” In her BuzzFeed article, Sylvia Obell said Chyna’s calculated move wasn't a “PR breakthrough. It was a coup.” It’s entirely possible that Kim K brought popularity to the tight dress/flowy jacket combo, but Blac Chyna doesn’t need to Single White Female Kim Kardashian by wearing an identical outfit. She already firmed up a forever place in that family without needing to be petty.
It’s also no secret that pregnant women are on the constant search for an outfit both comfortable and sexy, considering how limited the options really are. On most days of your pregnancy — especially in the later months — it’s common practice to identify with an elephant. A high percentage of your outfits will resemble tents, despite your best intentions. Most mornings, you’ll look in the mirror, shocked at your appearance, say, “Fuck it,” and walk out of the house anyway. Maybe you’ll decide you’re going to wear a dress. Maybe something pretty. And for the first time in a while, you think, I look cute. Damn. Look at me and my cute pregnant belly. A tight dress can do this for you; it can bring you momentary pleasure. (Unless, of course, you’re one of those women who is adorably pregnant and always feels great, which, in that case, good on you — I just don’t relate.)
This much is clear: Pregnant women don’t have that many fashionable pieces to choose from. “Damn, when you’re pregnant you just want to feel comfortable, and in both pictures they look comfy,” one commenter on Instagram wrote. “And if Chyna wants to copy Kim, she won't be the first.”