A disturbing new competitive slimming fad is spreading across social media. Here's our reaction to it...You have probably heard of the A4 waist challenge: the disturbing new fitness trend pressurising girls worldwide into extreme weight loss. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, let us explain…
The viral challenge, originating in China, encourages women to measure their waists against slices of A4 paper…yes we’re serious. Women and girls across the globe are holding pieces of portrait A4 to their waists to check if they're wider than it. Now is probably the right time to mention that a sheet of A4 has a width of 21cm (yes that is smaller than a UK size zero).
The aim of the challenge is drastic weight loss, the incentive being to shrink down to a waist measuring less than a portrait slice of A4.
Starting on the Chinese social media site ‘Sina Weibo’, the trend has now infiltrated Twitter with hundreds of thousands of social media users uploading and boasting their ‘successful’ images onto the sites with pride.
‘I’m a size smaller than A4. I’m A5’, one Weibo user boasted, while another posted ‘well I guess I deserve another scoop of ice cream after all’ with a disturbing image of a piece of paper completely covering her body.
Though defended by its partakers as ‘a healthy and attainable aim’ (hmm…we’re going to need some convincing), the challenge for a paper-thin waist has caused an online uproar, condemned by users for perpetuating low self-esteem and pressurising women to conform to unnatural 'beauty' standards.
One user tweeted ‘A4 paper waist challenge? Total rubbish’ before asking if they could turn the sheet of paper sideways.
Here at Marie Claire, we had a similar idea. We like cake, croissants, biscuits and wine. We don’t want A4 paper-thin waists and we don’t think it’s healthy to try.
We decided it would be a good idea to come back with our own response to the A4 challenge - we're calling it the 'massive piece of paper' challenge and it doesn't require any extreme slimming at all.
Here's some of our team demonstrating...
Happy Friday! Go and treat yourself to a lovely big slice of cake.
Jenny Proudfoot, Features Assistant
Hollie Brotherton, Fashion Features & Entertainment Assistant
Hannah O'Neill, Features Intern
Lucy Pavia, Entertainment Editor
Georgina Lawton, Digital Editorial Intern
Norlisa Hanlon Rosslee, Digital Editorial Intern