The #UnderboobChallenge Is the Latest Body-Shaming Trend on Social Media

Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram

The underboob is on the rise.

A new viral trend, the latest in a series of attention-grabbing, body-conscious stunts, has blossomed in the wilds of the internet. It involves a whole lot of underboob — the part of the anatomy made famous by Rihanna's tattoo and Beyoncé's magazine cover — and a writing utensil. Your high school English teacher is already blushing. 

A photo posted by (@) on

The trend has spawned a few different hashtags, including #UnderboobChallenge, #PenChallenge and #CarryPenUnderBreast. The task is simple: keep a pen or pencil snug beneath one's breast. Unsurprisingly, it appears to favor women with larger chests, which has certainly made some bystanders happy.

Congratulations, ladies: We finally have our very own version of a dick-measuring contest.

A photo posted by (@) on

A photo posted by (@) on

A photo posted by (@) on

A photo posted by (@) on



A photo posted by (@) on

A photo posted by (@) on

According to Mashable, the trend appears to have originated in China, with a number of posts popping up on Weibo, the country's Twitter-like microblogging platform. Indeed, a quick search for "chest clip pen" — the English version of the Chinese phrase — shows a number of women showing off their underboob skills.

These kinds of things tend to spread quickly, however, and the #UnderboobChallenge has crossed oceans and continents to make it to the United States. You can now find the posts on Twitter and Instagram.

There's even an entire Instagram account, @underboobchallenge, dedicated to finding, collecting and cataloging the attempts, as well as a similarly intentioned Twitter account

In true internet fashion, it has even spawned a meme or two:

A photo posted by (@) on

There have also been more than a few attempts at trolling, most of which have come from men:

A photo posted by (@) on

A photo posted by (@) on

A photo posted by (@) on

A photo posted by (@) on

A photo posted by (@) on

Some people are using it to fight back against body shamers:

While others are simply having fun pointing out its absurdity: 

A photo posted by (@) on

A photo posted by (@) on

Some have alluded to the idea that the challenge is meant to prove the participant's "real woman" status, which is a uniquely atrocious idea. (At least one tweet supports this notion.) 

As with the #KylieJennerChallenge debacle and the #BellyButtonChallenge, which encouraged users to stretch their arms around their waists in an effort to prove their slimness, the #UnderboobChallenge seems to be hellbent on highlighting a specific set of beauty standards. Throw social media — the online version of a peacock strut — into the mix, and you have 2016's first weird and slightly uncomfortable viral trend.

Thankfully, not everyone is taking it seriously.

A photo posted by (@) on

Bless you, anonymous and well-read #UnderboobChallenge participant.

h/t Mashable

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Sophie Kleeman

Sophie is a staff writer at Mic covering the intersection of tech and culture. She's based in New York and can be reached at sophie@mic.com.

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