Over the past weeks, many people might have noticed the hashtag #A4Waist trending across multiple social media platforms. The A4 waist challenge is where a woman holds up a standard size piece of printer paper to demonstrate how skinny she is. Ultimately, the goal is to have a waist that is smaller than the 8.3-inch width of the paper.
Although it is primarily popular in Asia, specifically China, many are concerned that this dangerous trend will gain momentum in the United States.
In a world where young women are constantly surrounded by unrealistic expectations perpetrated by images edited with image-enhancing software, the desire to be thin causes women to risk their health in order to obtain society’s ideal body image. Even health professionals are weighing in, saying that this trend could potentially amplify the development of eating disorders.
However, there has been a massive backlash from communities across the United States. Many women and even men have spoken out against it, claiming that one’s beauty cannot be determined by a piece of paper. Others are taking pictures to show that even if their waists are bigger than the paper, they are still happy and comfortable in their own skin.
This challenge does not only make women self-conscious, but it also degrades them as people. Comparing a human being to an inanimate object is dehumanizing and makes them look vulnerable. In a time when women continue to fight for equality, we cannot come off as weak. We as women must stand together and support one another when it comes to accepting ourselves and realizing that, no matter what, we are beautiful.