Growing up, some of us believed in bogus body myths that revealed whether a girl was a virgin (it’s how she walks!), or if a guy had a big package (it’s based on his shoe-size, obviously!). I think once we reached the 10th grade, we realized that all these stupid “rules” were made up by someone with too much time on their hands, and we moved on with our lives. Well, a new and incredibly ludicrous “beauty test” is running amok in China. One of the biggest trends on Weibo (China’s version of Facebook) is posting photos of oneself trying out the “Beauty and Ugliness Identification Method.” If you’re “beautiful,” you are able to place your index finger against your nose and have your lips touch said finger. If your lips are unable to make contact with your finger, then you’re “ugly.”
Out of curiosity, I tried out this assessment, also called the “finger trap” test, and honestly the results really depended on how I angled my head, so who knows where I stand. Verdict? B.S.! But we already knew that. However, many on Weibo actually believe this test is scientifically valid (it’s not) and reflective of beauty (it’s not).
So, my question is, what’s up with all these ridiculous and often times, fallacious, beauty standards? Several years ago, there was a huge “arm flab” movement (I’m sure Tracy Anderson made out like a bandit on that one), “thigh gap” is, as we know, a big thing currently, as is #thinspo and “Pretty or Ugly” (which is really upsetting to watch). There is no denying that women are being negatively affected by unrealistic beauty standards, but they’re taking to blogging and Youtube, which is creating an even bigger community that fosters negativity and unhealthy behavior. Some “thinspo” blog posts quote: “my weight depresses me,” and “By eating you are filling up where that gap between your thighs should be.”
So many of us are not quite satisfied with some aspect of our bodies, but I think the abundance of antagonism on the Internet is encouraging already self-conscious girls to be even more hateful towards themselves (because other people are doing it, so it must be normal!). Negative body image has turned into this self-fulfilling prophecy: if I think I’m ugly, I must be. This is so, so wrong.
I know this subject has been on our minds lately, but it’s hard not to vent when we see so many girls (and boys) portray themselves in such a destructive manner. The fact that another stupid body image trend is circulating overseas is even more of a reason to boycott them. Beauty shouldn’t abide by any rules. And neither should you.