Just when you thought extreme 'beauty' social media challenges couldn't get any more disturbing, a new body trend meme involving yet another inanimate object is going viral in China. Thousands of Chinese netizens have flooded social media to take on the "iPhone 6 knees" challenge to "prove" their legs are skinny.
The challenge involves women taking 'selfies' of the device covering their knees to demonstrate their skinny legs and posting it on social media. An iPhone 6 measures just 13.8 centimetres in length.
The "#iPhone6legs" trend has already garnered more than 67 million viewers and 500,000 comments on Weibo, a Chinese micro-blogging site, and has already sparked widespread concern in China.
"The pressure for women to conform to a thinness ideal pervades all parts of the developed world and China is no exception to the rule," Women's Foundation Research and Advocacy manager Lisa Moore told the South China Morning Post. "Media has played a significant role in transmitting thinness norms and values, which has shown links to increased body image dissatisfaction, eating disorders and lowered self-esteem among women. We are concerned with the ways that unrealistic and unattainable beauty standards are directly affecting women and girl's sense of self-worth."
Many users on Weibo have criticized the trend calling it "the worst one yet". Some have protested against it by posting their own pictures with larger devices such as iPads and Macs over their knees.
The latest body-shaming trend follows the 'A4 waist' craze that took over China a few weeks ago where women posted pictures of themselves on Weibo holding a sheet of paper to cover their skinny torsos to prove they are "paper thin". Other previous social media 'beauty' trends included the "collarbone challenge" where women lined coins on their collarbones and the navel-gazing "belly button challenge" that had women reaching around their backs to touch their belly button.