We've seen many an online trends come and go. They're often cosmetic, usually stupid, and tend to involve people altering or presenting their appearance in a new, sometimes disturbing light. The newest craze hitting Asia is all of that, and more.
You've probably never heard the term "A4 waist". Most people hadn't until the seriously warped terminology started trending in China. The challenge basically entails holding a sheet of A4 paper to your midsection and seeing whether or not your body disappears behind the sheet. If it does, congratulations, you've got an A4 waist.
Yes, you read that right. The newest standard of beauty is whether or not you can make your body disappear behind a piece of paper.
The only good thing to come from the A4 challenge is the many women speaking up about how awful this particular online trend is.
The #A4WaistChallenge concerns me very much...— 5SOS Updates Xx (@5SOSHotel) March 17, 2016
Don't let these "trends" make you feel bad about yourself. You're beautiful, no matter what.
It may seem like a harmless online trend, but its implications are far more treacherous that you may think. We live in a world where 94% of teenagers say they have been body shamed. There are entire blogs and internet forums dedicated to thigh gaps and borderline starvation.
On the surface, it's a fun little opportunity to take a tummy selfie but a little critical thought will clue you into how problematic this particular standard of beauty is.
There is nothing wrong with sharing flattering photos of your body. But when girls who are already at risk of developing unhealthy attitudes about their bodies see that there is a litmus test for how they "should look", then the hope of teaching the concept of "self love" become dimmer and dimmer.
This, coupled with the human disaster that is Nicole Arbour and her public shaming of larger bodies, and you've got tons of people on social media sending out the wrong idea about body image.
The A4 Waist Challenge can quite frankly f*** off. #immorethanmywaist— Meera Depala (@meemee_d) March 18, 2016
Girls, please share your post-pizza stomach selfies, your hairy selfies, your thunder thigh selfies, your best friend selfies, and any other selfie that makes you feel cute AF. Forget A4. Seriously.