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Weibo earphone challenge
courtesy of Weibo

People are tying earphones around their waists to show that they are thin

The Earphones Waist challenge is going viral on Chinese social media

There’s a new challenge making its way around Chinese social media platform Weibo and it highlights a worrying trend. 

The earphones waist challenge involves people wrapping earphones around the circumference of their waist to show off how small it is. The challenge appears to have been started by Toutiaoxinwen, a news account on Weibo which made a post referencing previous body measuring challenges and introducing the new earphone chord challenge.  

“To see how much weight you’ve gained while lazing around at home, just look at how many rounds your earphones can go around your waist… tag us in your photos and tag your friends to do this challenge together,” the post states.

Since going up last week, the post has racked up nearly 75k likes and over 6000 comments of varying responses. User Nitenite commented that how many rounds the earphones make depends on how long the chord is and joked, “give me 10 meters” while another user wrote “Sorry I use bluetooth, next question.” Others, however, didn’t find the challenge as humorous. Some expressed envy at the bodies shown in the images while others were annoyed that the challenge was just a way to show off your figure. 

The Earphones Waist challenge is just the latest in a long line of similar trends over the past decade. In 2015, the Collarbone Challenge saw women compete on how many coins they could fit in their concave clavicle, while for the A4 Challenge in 2016 women measured themselves against pieces of A4 paper (8.3 inches) to show off how thin their waists were. The same year the iPhone 6 knee challenge where women held an iPhone across their knees to prove their legs were thin also went viral. 

While silly social media challenges are a cornerstone of internet culture, these particular ones highlight an unhealthy preoccupation with being thin and perpetuate unrealistic beauty standards.