The boobs over belly buttons challenge has been sweeping across Twitter in response to the original and controversial belly button challenge, which was launched on China’s Weibo and immediately caused outrage.
The belly button challenge saw users looking to reach their arm’s back around their waists in an attempt to touch their belly buttons. This was immediately criticised as fat-shaming, even though it was apparently started as an indicator of health.
You can check out some of the responses below.
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) June 12, 2015
Mlns of Chinese join in “belly button challenge” – reach belly button from behind to show good figure. Give it a try! pic.twitter.com/L1nrbi04U7
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) June 13, 2015
เทรนใหม่วัยรุ่นจีน Belly button challenge ท้าใช้มือตัวเองจับเอวจากข้างหลัง pic.twitter.com/aOxnnBQ2bo
— Napatip (@Napatip_TPradio) June 11, 2015
According to the BBC, the topic was mentioned over 130 million times on Weibo as it soon went viral.
Speaking to the BBC, Jolene Tan, who is a senior manager at Aware, a non-governmental organization in Singapore that champions women’s rights, explained how this trend promoted eating disorders and promoted an unhealthy standard of beauty.
“Quirky poses and pictures can be fun but sometimes they also become expressions of competitiveness or insecurity… [It’s just] one more way of scrutinising women’s bodies to see whether they are ‘good enough’.”
However, the British lingerie retailer Curvy Kate has now decided to fight back against the above trend with its own hashtag, which simply insists Boobs Over Belly Buttons. This asks female users to upload an image of them grabbing onto one of their own breasts, rather than going to an obscene length to touch their belly button.
Curvy Kate uploaded a blog entry that explained the reason for their response to the Belly Button challenge. The website wrote, “There are a heck of a lot more important things to be checking on your own body than whether your arms are flexible enough to reach all the way around your own torso.”
They went on to add, “So welcome [to] the #BoobsOverBellyButtons movement! We want to encourage you guys to check your boobs and get to know what normal feels like.”