3 Internet Trends That Promote Unrealistic Beauty Standards

Global beauty standards that have been in place for centuries combined with the individualistic need to gain their own 15 seconds of fame has called for trends that try to use everyday objects to prove that participants are “slim”. These pointless trends are capitalising on the possibility of going “viral” through trends like the A4 paper challenge, the #UnderBoobChallenge, and the #CollarboneChallenge. But, this does not seem to be the end of these challenges. Here are 3 that are mindboggling in just how ridiculous they are –


1.  Earphone Challenge

In the most recent attempt at proving just how slim they can be, people in China are taking to the Internet to post a “challenge” where ladies are wrapping earphones around their waists to test the circumference of their waists. The challenge was initiated by Toutiaoxinwen, a news account on Weibo and has more than 74000 likes thus far. Now, there does not seem to be any specific rule as to what earphones or cables to use. However, most images seem to show Apple AirPods with a Lightning connector (I, for one, am more interested in that fact that these young ladies can afford Airpods??)

Photo from Weibo


2. Toblerone Tunnel

“Omg you have a thigh gap?” asked no one ever. For some reason, having a thigh gap became the standard indication of a slim body. The #tobleronetunnel challenge is basically a challenge to see if one can fit the end of a Toblerone into the gap between your hoo-ha and your inner thighs. It was introduced back in 2018 and people on Twitter weren’t having it.









3. iPhone 6 Knee Challenge

Back in 2016, when the iPhone 6 measured 6.22 inches (15.8cm) in length and 3.06 inches (7.78 cm) wide, people were using it for more than just making calls and sending texts. No, they were using it for far more important things – like proving that by hiding their knees behind it, they were slim. Health experts have condemned this form of measurement, saying that the knees – being bone and cartilage – are a fixed size and cannot be changed without excessive dieting that will also reduce your muscle mass.


There are varying factors that affect weight – genes, diet and lifestyle being the main ones. However, a healthy lifestyle is equal parts a diet that suits your body and the right exercise regime that caters to your body. These challenges create a false idea of “what everyone’s body should look”, regardless of their genetics or lifestyles. In doing so, they are spreading the wrong idea about body image and have the most impact on younger, impressionable girls who also want to “look like what they see on their screens”. Rivkie Baum, editor of plus size magazine SLiNK, told The Huffington Post (UK) when the iPhone 6 Knee Challenge first came about that –

“A healthy body cannot be compared to an everyday object and I think a ‘body challenge’ like this just shows how little young women are being taught about health over physicality.”

And we couldn’t agree more. Do what’s right for your body not what’s right by other peoples’ standards.