The hastag #a4waist has been trending all across social media with more than 200 posts on Instagram. You may be wondering, what is this #a4waist? This trend started in China, when a young woman stood behind a sheet of A4 paper (8 x 12 in.) and compared her waist to it. It was supposed to be a bragging post about how skinny her waist was. This was then turned into a challenge, where competitors take photos of their waist slowly changing to fit the A4 paper size. This “challenge” was achieved by losing excessive amounts of weight.
The A4 waist challenge soon reached many other countries across the world. On social media, many people posted posts mocking the ridiculous challenge. Several women stood up to this ridiculous expectation of a female body by posting their own waists which clearly didn’t fit an A4 paper. One of the posts was of a woman holding up her college diploma, showing that an A4 paper shouldn’t establish a woman’s worth, but rather a paper that truly has deep meaning in it.
“This challenge is nothing close to a ‘healthy’ dieting inspiration. This rather encourages women to slip into eating disorders because they end up comparing their own body to someone else’s rather than loving what they were born with,” said Stefanie Rouse, a teacher at Village Christian High School in Sun Valley, Calif.
Everyday, people are coming up with new challenges and goals that could hurt people. Although the first #a4waist picture was not to push women into being extremely skinny, with the human’s natural instinct to compare each other’s possessions, it became an encouragement for the viewers to take it as a challenge. One must be careful what to post online, because it may have been harmless in the beginning, but it could create a negative result such as the #a4waist challenge.