Who knew there were so many ways to body shame women using seemingly innocuous office supplies?
In January, the viral #UnderboobChallenge had women shoving pens under their boobs to see if they would stay there. The larger your breasts, the better your chance at "success." And back in June, people contorted their bodies to prove they were fit enough to touch their belly buttons from behind their backs. (It's harder than you think.)
Now there's a new social media challenge designed to make women feel shitty about their bodies. Spawned from the Chinese social media site Weibo, the so-called "A4 Waist Challenge" has women comparing the width of their waists to the short side of a sheet of printer paper, according to Mashable — and sadly, it's going viral.
The challenge, which inherently equates success with having a small waist size, has become a trending topic on Weibo, garnering more than 40,000 commenters and hundreds and people sharing their own challenge photos, according to Shanghaiist.
Despite the challenge's popularity, here's why not to get caught up in it. In 2012, the average U.S. woman's waist size was 37.8 inches, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The short side of an A4 sheet of paper measures 8.3 inches — less than a quarter of the average American woman's waist. Hiding your waist behind an A4 sheet of paper isn't something everyone — or even the average U.S. woman — is able to do.
That being said, whether you're able to do it isn't even important. It does not matter at all. Some waists are wide and some waists are narrow — it's true. But neither should be automatically associated with ugliness or failure. Forget fat shaming and skinny shaming — all waist sizes are gorgeous, people.
Thankfully, not all social media users are taking the A4 Waist Challenge so seriously.
One more reason this challenge is dumb? Paper gives you paper cuts. For your skin's sake, you should probably hold a velvet blanket or a cute animal against your torso instead.