Beijing: Another challenge adds to the list of other popularly crazy viral challenges like the Ice Bucket Challenge, Pepper challenge, the condom challenge etc., It’s now the A4 Waist Challenge, trending in China’s twitter–Weibo.
Thousands of Chinese girls and young women are being pressured by a bizarre social media fad into proving that their diet-toned midriffs are no wider than a piece of A4 paper, reported the Daily Mail.
The trend has seen participants trying to demonstrate their waists are equal to or narrower than the width of the average printer paper, according to People’s Daily Online, a Chinese portal.
The pursuit of perfect abs seems to have become something of an obsession online in China, with ‘The Most Beautiful Firm Abs’ currently standing as the third most searched topic on Weibo.
Girls have been showing their skinny credentials by tucking a piece of paper down the back of their jeans in portrait rotation, and posting the worrying results on the internet.
But as China’s online obsession of obtaining ‘perfect abs’ intensified with new fad, the controversial new trend sparked debate over whether it sets unrealistic ‘fitness’ and ‘health’ goals for women to achieve. After all, we’re talking about a waist size that is the same or narrower than the width of an A4 paper which measures just 21cm!
A standard sheet of A4 paper, as typically defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), measures just 8.27 inches wide and 11.69 inches long.
But there is some saving grace after all: Most boys have shunned the trend and refused to take part as they say it’s impossible for them to have such a small waist, reported The Daily Mail.
There have been many reactions, support, oppose and criticisms. Several people opined that the trend is sending a worrying message about body image. It seems to be saying the thinner you are the better you are. It’s also asking young women to measure up to random tests of beauty and could promote body shaming and eating disorders.
John Disereits wrote on Twitter: ‘So are they insinuating smaller is better? Not cool to offend the girls who don’t measure up in this manner.’
Other young men were equally quick to make fun of the trend by saying that they too have A4 waists, when the paper is held horizontally. Like the one below posted by Xavier Xiong on twitter.