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Coming from Japanese Twitter where it’s quickly gone viral, the Hands-Free Bubble Tea Challenge features women, and some men, trying to drink from a cup balanced on their cleavage.
個人的な意見ですが— Hカップな広告マン-アリペイサン (@hcupadman) June 8, 2019
The challenge came from a video posted by model @hcupadman featuring her using both hands on a laptop while drinking from a cup cunningly lodged between her cleavage. In the tweet, she cites balancing the tea as one of the advantages of having large breasts.
逆に巨乳で困ることといえばやはりおっぱいが重いことですね。— Hカップな広告マン-アリペイサン (@hcupadman) June 9, 2019
People quickly responded by putting up their photos showing them balancing bubble tea and other objects on their chest.
皆さんほど巨乳ではなく、どちらかと言えば貧乳よりなんですけど、僕は旅人と言う職業柄書類記入が多いのでペンを挟んで集中して書類を読めます。 pic.twitter.com/CWulx1pPhp— クレパピ🍄YouTube (@mk7318) June 10, 2019
Though it wasn’t originally intended as a poorly disguised way to brag about breast size, it does seem to have picked up overtones of that when it morphed into a challenge. However, unlike previous “ideal body” challenges like the pen challenge and the “bikini bridge,” a lot of the entries came in artistic form.
Tapsi of @OfficialTPSPN and @kaheru_orange trying out the Hands-Free Bubble Tea / Tapioca challenge.— Arden (@ardenlolo) June 17, 2019
Tapsi is too poor to buy a Milktea though so she just bought gulaman and a straw. #手放しタピオカ pic.twitter.com/xavjExx25F
Popular way to drink boba milk tea in Japan.— H₂SO₃ -Give me some tea. (@H2SO366) June 16, 2019
Star:Marco!where are you watching!!!
Who tf will drink it like that?
Damn. I dropped my drink on the ground #StarVsTheForcesOfEvil #手放しタピオカ pic.twitter.com/lGeorZUgut
Some people are even posing dolls in the hands-free position.
One of the early propagators of the Hands-Free Bubble Tea Challenge, @Strangestone—who is the artist behind the previously viral Tawawa challenge, where women balanced phones and then later other objects on their breasts—produced a sketch of it, which may be why others are responding with their own art.
月曜日のたわわ その２２５ 『手放しタピオカ』 pic.twitter.com/0znSChJpa3— 比村奇石@C96月曜西れ-20 (@Strangestone) June 10, 2019
This gives it a lighter, and healthier, vibe than those other body-related challenges, though of course there’s still an element of mockery aimed at the women who can’t play.
The challenge is striking big in the Philippines, a country that loves bubble milk tea, as well as Malaysia.
malaysia bila lagi??? agak2 jgk cbaran tuu bah.. https://t.co/020HEauAGK— syafiq hafizam (@syahscreamer) June 17, 2019
Given the fad for bubble tea in the west, it’s only a matter of time before the challenge makes it over here, too.
Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org