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On Tuesday, we wrote about the “bellybutton challenge,” which encourages women to post photos of themselves reaching their arms around their waists to show off how thin they are. Now, there’s already another body-shaming craze sweeping the Internet: the collarbone challenge.
The goal of the collarbone challenge is to see if you can balance something—usually a stack of coins—in the crease of your collarbone. Conventional wisdom says that the thinner you are, the more pronounced your collarbone is, and the more space you have for balancing stuff. It appears the trend started on Chinese social network Weibo, and it already has millions of hits.
A photo posted by Natalia (@natalia.nats) on
Chinese website People’s Daily Online notes that “the important thing to notice is that the coins have to be standing” in order for the challenge to be successfully completed.
A photo posted by yyànRóng👑0724 (@yy.r21) on
People have also taken it upon themselves to broaden the rules of the challenge by balancing other random objects on their clavicles.
A photo posted by James Leong (@jamesleongkh) on
Even brands have gotten in on this awful trend.
Although you might think that the collarbone challenge is limited to China, there’s an obvious precedent for such body-shaming social crazes in the West as well. In addition to the bellybutton challenge, the bikini bridge and thigh gap have also gone viral, even though the former was later proven to be a 4chan trolling campaign.
It’s also not surprising that the collarbone challenge is taking root in China. Eating disorders have been steadily on the rise in China, with one Shanghai hospital saying that the number of patients admitted for anorexia nervosa and bulimia has quadrupled within the past decade. The increase has largely been attributed to rapid social modernization in urban areas in the region, as well as advertising that promotes unhealthy body image.
Marisa Kabas is a lifestyle reporter and activist. Her work has been published by Fusion, Fast Company, and Today. She’s also served as an editorial campaigns director for Purpose PBC, a social movement incubator.