Women In China Are Doing The #A4WaistChallenge To Make Sure They're Thin Enough

Women are holding a sheet of paper up to their waists to make sure they're thin enough, but I just have to ask - how did we get here?

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

You may be thin, but are you "hide my waist behind a sheet of paper" thin?

It seems like every month, there's another beauty challenge invented solely for the purpose of giving women new and terrible ways to judge their bodies. This month we have the "A4 Waist Challenge," which is as strange as it is unhealthy (and just to be clear - it's not the being thin part that's unhealthy, but the whole 'judging yourself based on your often-unachievable size' thing).

Women in China are holding a sheet of printer paper (which is where the A4 part comes from, btw) up to their waists, and if their waists can be hidden behind the paper, they upload a shot and caption it with #A4WaistChallenge. Cosmopolitan reports that it's mostly blowing up on Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, though you may see it on Instagram and Twitter as well.


It's yet another iteration of the "how thin are you" challenges that we've seen before. Pressuring women to care about whether or not they have a gap between their thighs, can balance coins on their protruding collarbones, or can hide their waist behind sheets of paper is just another way of reinforcing the idea that the most acceptable female body is a thin one. Aren't we over this by now? 

If you can hide your waist behind a sheet of paper, that's cool. If you can't? Also cool. It literally will never matter, because the source of your confidence shouldn't be a sheet of paper anyway.

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