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Perfect Body: Chinese Women Are Showing Off Their Thin Waists Behind A4 Paper


It seems like the never-ending quest for the “ideal” body has resulted in a series of bizarre memes. In recent months, we’ve seen people posting pictures of their thigh gaps, belly buttons and pens under their b**bs, causing us to wonder who even came up with these challenges in the first place.

Now, it looks like the Internet has gone one step further to pressure women to prove that they have tiny midriffs with the “A4 waist challenge.” For the challenge, women are required to take photos of themselves with a piece of A4 printer paper in front of their waists.  The width of an A4 paper is eight inches, and women are trying to prove that their waistlines are narrower than that.

The A4 waist challenge started in China around February and has seen hordes of Chinese women taking to their Weibo accounts to show off their trim waistlines.  Since the challenge took off, Weibo now has millions of photos with the hashtag #A4waist. It was only a matter of time before this worrying challenge influenced women in other parts of Asia to take part in it too. Like its predecessors, the A4 waist challenge has invited its fair share of controversy and mockery.

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Many netizens have criticised the challenge for encouraging women to have unhealthy body image issues. One Weibo user Joe Wong mocked the challenge by posting a selfie of himself covering his face with an A4 paper with a caption saying: “I have A4 face.”


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