In recent years, the media’s effect on young women’s body has been an issue of concern. A major population believe that television and magazines tend to hold girls to impossible standards. And if you haven’t heard already, The A4 waist trend is the hot new trend to hit social media in China. They call it a new ‘fitness’ trend (Wow, fitness really?) which encourages the women to compare their waist size to an A4 paper sheet. A sheet of A4 paper has a width of just 21 centimeters, and if you ask me to compare your body to something like that, it sounds kind of crazy. But not really to some Chinese internet users who have claimed that this slim waist fad is a healthy and attainable aim.
This shocking trend has resulted in an outrage on social media. The Western commentators have been fast to slam those involved in this fad for promoting unrealistic body expectations, and for body shaming women who are not in that category. Checking on Twitter, it is evident that majority are disgusted by this fad, and not hiding how they feel.
We had the thigh gaps, then thigh brows, then bikini bridges. So what comes next after that? Like so many other social media fitness crazes, this A4 waist challenge seems to have ignored the notion that what is healthy for an individual is not for someone of different height or shape. It blindly demands the same results from its participants, regardless whether it is healthy for them or not. Not directly, but subtle. While some people choose to address this craze as a joke, if this fad continues, it won’t be all that of a joke anymore. But then again, like all viral fads in the end, the A4 waist challenge will eventually pass.
The majority of models we see on television and magazines are well below a healthy body mass index (BMI). Some of the individuals think that this leads young, impressionable women (and teenagers) to believe that in order to be “beautiful”, they must be unhealthy. True, true indeed. You have to sacrifice things to achieve what you want sometimes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your health isn’t important. Unfortunately there are also some people that believe that the increase in eating disorders is a result of the media’s emphasis on being thin.
When you flip through a fashion magazine, pictures are airbrushed and photoshopped. Do these modifications have a tendency to promote unrealistic body images to the women consuming these kinds of media? Perhaps so. I just hope that in the years to come, the media will be more conscious of how they are portraying women’s figures so they can prevent young women from developing negative body images. Quit judging a person solely by how his or her body looks. Remember, the sun will rise tomorrow even if you had one too many slices of pizza, and quiet that negative little voice in your head when it starts to say mean things about your body.
Next time when you think of beautiful things, don’t forget to count yourself in.