If the Underboob Challenge wasn't degrading enough, now there's the A4 Waist Challenge.
The Underboob Challenge asked people to put pens under their boobs to demonstrate their womanliness - I wrote about it in my Zustershap column post last month. Now, women are being encouraged to take pictures of their waists slimmer than an A4 piece of paper for the A4 Waist Challenge.
This is why people have eating disorders, why some women grow up being so ashamed of their bodies that they shy away from doing amazing things in their lives, why people damage their health trying to be unrealistically thin. We are not born hating our bodies, we are taught from birth that they are not good enough, and it's things like this that perpetuate those thoughts.
This is not fun. These are not games. It's not just clever digital marketing to go viral. It's damaging, even if people 'know' it's silly. Women know that magazines airbrush pictures. They know that famous women spend a lot of money (and time) working out and have personal trainers and nutritionists. Yet people still aspire to these standards.
And no, it's not 'healthy' to have something to aspire to. Not when people starve themselves, skip meals, harm their bodies by taking diet pills, drink protein shakes, take steroids, over-exercise, when they have depression, when it jeopardises their every day lives.
Let's not pretend that body image issues don't have an impact on the whole world, because they do. Young women often lose confidence due to feeling down about their bodies. They might not push themselves with their studies, or they might not want to experience certain things in life because of this. They might just want to fade into the background and just try to get by. They don't push to be the manager, teacher, politician, artist or writer that they dreamed of being. And we wonder why we don't have as many females in power in our society...
Fuck the A4 Waist Challenge. If you're reading this, you're better than that.
You don't need to put a piece of paper to your waist, or a pen under your boob to be beautiful. You don't even have to be beautiful, you just have to be real, and be true to yourself.
Thanks for reading. Please spread the message.
#A4waistchallenge #A4waist #bodypositive