It has been increasingly trendy on Chinese social media from the last many months that women with certain bodily features that they aggregately establish some sort of a comparative standard to displaying prove their higher level of slenderness and relative beauty. As it is becoming more and more popular especially among Chinese females to show off those physical features against these established standards of vanity with comparative measurements usually with an object or a mere display of something awkward, it is usually seen as causing disturbance among certain groups of people. A closer look at some of these challenges has been taken in detail in the following passage.
iPhone Leg Challenge
This so called physical beauty challenge trend started around spring 2016 and swept across the Chinese social media. The Chinese microblogging site Weibo (Chinese equivalent of twitter) was seen posted with several thousand photos of women holding their iPhone against both knees joins together. The criterion to pass this challenge was that if the female was able to completely cover her both legs usually on the knees joined together with the width of the iPhone she would pass the challenge and her legs would be considered beautiful.
Under-boob pen challenge
This trend started in Japan and spread to China at around the winter of 2016 and exploded on Chinese social media. It was more acceptable to the west in fact the concept came from old wives’ tales in United States and was also mentioned publically in 1970s by a woman, when the concept of going braless was hot topic for debates on media. It was mentioned that if a woman slips a pencil (or pen) under her boob and the boobs are large enough to hold them in place under the lower curve of the boob then she can use a bra. On the contrary if the pencil drops, she can burn her bra. As mentioned, this same concept recently ignited in Japan and spread on Chinese social media like a wildfire with Chinese women sharing pictures of their under boobs holding not only pens but an impressive range of objects, setting standards of feminine physical beauty and apparently many of them were passing the challenge with flying colors. It was particularly interesting because Chinese woman are traditionally not known for the bulk of these assets.
The collarbone challenge
The collarbone challenge trend started in the early 2015 and prevailed through the summer of that same year on the Chinese media. The idea hovers around the fact that the slimmer the female body is the more visible and defined the collarbone is, where she would balance a stack of coins, take pictures of herself and post it on social media to pass the challenge. This trend did not remain limited to coin balancing. Chinese ladies started to balance a host of different objects like empty beverage bottles, pasta sticks and pieces of chocolate bars. The noticeable thing was that females with bulky bodies were also able to balance these objects, this made the coin balance on the collarbone as the true standard to indicate the slenderness of the body that the Chinese women are known for. Probably, the larger the stack of coins on the collarbone also meant a woman has a slimmer body.
A4 waist challenge
According to New York times woman comparing their waist with the width or rather hiding their waist behind an A4 sized paper sheet sprouted from China as this trend exploded on Chinese social media when a huge number of Chinese woman started to post their pictures on Weibo, Weixin and WeChat with their waist hiding behind an 8.3 inch A4 size paper width. A slim waist is an advantage for the natural physique of majority of Chinese women at least statistically over the women from the rest of the world. This obsessive affair of Chinese women to establish new standard to measure waste without numbers turned a part of the Internet into a vanity fair.
Armpit hair selfie
This trend broke into the Chinese Social media when a fan page on Weibo provided a challenge to the Chinese women to take their selfies with unshaved armpits to promote a different rather weird measure of beauty. Within days, photos of women mostly showing their arbitrarily one of the arm or both arms held above their head projecting style with a personal tone and revealing the hairs on their armpits. Strangely this awkward trend caught on and became known as “armpit hair selfie”. The original intent of the post on Chinese social media was at, sometime labeled as, “to establish a new standard of beauty”.
Belly button challenge
This challenge gathered heat in the mid-summer of 2015. This challenge spread throughout the world originating, you have guessed it right, on Chinese social media. This trend became uncontrollable throughout the world. In China alone, in a number of few days, this challenge received 130 million hits and became the number one trending topic on Chinese social media site Weibo in 2015 in matter of few days. The challenge is simple only to explain. You have to take one of your hand around the back of your waistline and touch your belly button from behind. The exploding popularity of this trend among Chinese women again tells the tale of slim and slender figures of Chinese women that is their pride as they are more fanatical about it compared to the opposite sex.
These social media activity is a fun play and it should not be taken seriously as many experts of social psychology around the world debate that these challenges and standard establishments as a result thereof, to measure beauty that rate people according to their looks and not their usefulness to the society, is an unhealthy trend on its own.