It’s not just the waif-thin models in the pages of magazines giving girls unrealistic beauty standards—it’s the pages of the magazines themselves.
AS IN THE ACTUAL PAGES.
A new trend from Chinese social media site Weibo has girls comparing the size of their waists to sheets of standard “A4” paper. If the leaf of 8 x 11 completely obscures your itty-bitty waist from view? Congrats! You’ve got an A4 waist, the new gold standard of unattainable hotness. Like so:
That’s right: now women are actually aspiring to be as thin as a sheet of paper. A literal sheet of paper.
I wish I was joking.
Women that succeed at the “fitness” challenge upload their photos to Weibo and other social media networks, appropriately hashtagged with #A4waist. The western media backlash has been swift and unmerciful, with many women posting their own #A4waist pics in front of comically large sheets of poster board or swaths of butcher paper.
But as Asian-American writer Juliana Chan pointed out in an XOJANE op-ed, certain prevailing stereotypes about Asian bodies –like “asian metabolism” and “asian skinny genes” make these absurd goals more than just aspirations for Asian women, but expectations.
The last body-conscious Weibo trend to come out of China was the “bellybutton challenge,” where girls proved their “ideal” proportions by reaching behind their back to wrap their arm back around their waist and touch their bellybutton.
Anyone else just try that?
Yeah, not happening.