Chinese internet users give middle finger to ‘four-centimeter wrist challenge’ beauty fad - SupChina
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Chinese internet users give middle finger to ‘four-centimeter wrist challenge’ beauty fad

The latest beauty fad on the Chinese internet — following the A4 waist challenge and the thigh gap challenge — is called the #4cmWristChallenge (in Chinese), which is exactly what it sounds like. Participants take photos of themselves with a ruler placed next to their wrists, providing evidence that their wrists measure less than 1.57 inches.

Since the challenge took off on Weibo earlier this week, it has gotten thousands of responses, with women earnestly showing off their tiny wrists. As of March 19, the hashtag has garnered 17 million views and inspired more than 20,000 Weibo posts.

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The challenge is meaningless and its popularity is baffling, only serving as a reminder of the dangerous beauty standards that Chinese society imposes on women. It has also prompted quite the backlash.

Body-positive activists have slammed the fad for propagating impractical physical ideals and promoting the idea that women should aspire to thinness. A number of women responded with, well, take a look:

Screen Shot 2020 03 19 at 11.02.52 AM

Screen Shot 2020 03 19 at 11.03.10 AM

“Is this how you do it?”

Screen Shot 2020 03 19 at 11.03.40 AM

“Enough body shame? Get out of my face.”

Screen Shot 2020 03 19 at 11.06.36 AM

“Here comes another misogynist topic. Get out of here.”

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“Pale, slender, and young. These beauty standards have made lots of women feel shitty about their bodies. I hope women lose weight for the sole purpose of fitness, not to meet an unattainable body image. Don’t be tamed. Don’t accept man-made beauty standards. Join me in this movement!”

Screen Shot 2020 03 19 at 11.02.17 AM

“Mind your own business.”

The Chinese internet is no stranger to challenges of this nature. In 2015, the collarbone challenge swept Weibo, with women sharing images of themselves putting coins in their collarbones. A year later, in a viral beauty craze called #A4Challenge, hundreds of thousands of women measured their waists with A4 paper.

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Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.

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