There's a Bizarre New Selfie Trend in China With an Uplifting Message

The bizarre trend: Chinese women are posting photos of their armpit hair on social media.

The uplifting part: It's all part of a coordinated effort to challenge society's perceptions of beauty. It's pretty awesome.

The women are taking to Weibo, a Chinese micro-blogging service similar to Twitter, in a competition that roughly translates to "Girls not plucking their armpit hair." According to the Daily Mail, the campaign's page has reached an astonishing 28 million views since launching on July 17 and is expected to release a list of the top 10 entrants.




Image Credits: Daily Mail / Weibo



Even some dudes are joining in:


Image Credits: Bustle / Weibo

The background: Feminism has struggled to find as large a role in public life in China as it has in America and Europe, but Chinese feminism is still an active movement that uses social media much like its Western counterparts. Campaigns against blaming women for tempting subway gropers and that challenge violence against women have used Weibo, even though activists routinely faced censorship on Chinese web services. Various reports claim Weibo has between 10 and 130 million users, though it faces competition from upstart instant messaging services like WeChat that have more privacy controls, making it more difficult for Chinese authorities' to censor content.

The current campaign, intended to trigger a discussion about body image, tells women that "you should have confidence that you are beautiful just the way you are, shaven or not." As far as the U.S. blogosphere can tell, the point is to challenge patriarchal standards of beauty.



Image Credits: Shanghaiist / Weibo

The Gloss' Hayley Hoover warns that non-Chinese-speaking Western media could be misinterpreting the trend, which may be less directly related to some American feminists' view of shaving as a form of patriarchal body shaming. But she also thinks this selfie trend should come to the U.S., saying that, "I don't want to steal China's thunder, but I really wouldn't mind if this Weibo game carried over to Twitter." Oystermag, for its part, is soliciting contributions for its own competition.

For now, you might as well enjoy this healthy and pro-women social media phenomenon —and the somewhat strange but wonderful selfies. Go girls!




Image Credits: Rocket News

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

What does consent look like on a show like 'Bachelor in Paradise'?

Warner Bros. has cleared the allegations involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, leaving many questions about consent on the show in its wake.

Bill Cosby juror didn't believe Andrea Constand because Constand wore "bare midriff" to Cosby's home

This juror's response to Constand's testimony is victim blaming 101.

In North Carolina, women can't withdraw consent after giving it

The state's consent law says that once someone gives consent, they can't revoke it.

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman was catcalled on stage and it didn't go well

Hall of fame hockey player Marcel Dionne yelled "Look at those legs!" while onstage with Raisman at the 2017 NHL Awards.

How the Senate's draft health care plan could affect reproductive services

It is very close to the House's version of the bill, and would block federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a year.

Jury in Bill Cosby case voted 10-2 in favor of conviction, according to juror report

2 jurors prevented the unanimous vote prosecutors needed to convict Bill Cosby of criminal charges, according to an account given to ABC News.

What does consent look like on a show like 'Bachelor in Paradise'?

Warner Bros. has cleared the allegations involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, leaving many questions about consent on the show in its wake.

Bill Cosby juror didn't believe Andrea Constand because Constand wore "bare midriff" to Cosby's home

This juror's response to Constand's testimony is victim blaming 101.

In North Carolina, women can't withdraw consent after giving it

The state's consent law says that once someone gives consent, they can't revoke it.

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman was catcalled on stage and it didn't go well

Hall of fame hockey player Marcel Dionne yelled "Look at those legs!" while onstage with Raisman at the 2017 NHL Awards.

How the Senate's draft health care plan could affect reproductive services

It is very close to the House's version of the bill, and would block federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a year.

Jury in Bill Cosby case voted 10-2 in favor of conviction, according to juror report

2 jurors prevented the unanimous vote prosecutors needed to convict Bill Cosby of criminal charges, according to an account given to ABC News.