By:
19-06-2015

Belly Button Challenge

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#BellyButtonChallenge

The latest in a long line of 'challenges' designed to make people (mainly women and girls, but plenty of gentlemen too, no doubt) feel bad about their #bikinibody. Moving on from last year's 'thigh gap' and 'bikini bridge', now we're supposed to be able to touch our belly buttons from behind, with the idea being that if you wrap your arm around your waist and reach around to touch your belly button, it demonstrates that you're slender and have a desirably slim body.

Flexibility

This trend is probably just as silly as the nonsensical ones that have gone before it- it's hard to say how being able to stretch to touch your belly button from behind shows good health or a slim/desirable body, but that's the philosophy behind the trend.
In short: wrapping your arm around your body is a way of proving you 'have a good body'.

A Global Trend?

Apparently, the #BellyButtonChallenge started in China, before reaching the United States and Europe in recent days. Doctors asked to comment on the viral trend have agreed that it doesn't really prove anything: if you can do it, you're flexible, but that's only a small part of having good overall health, and isn't even a comment on individual slimness- larger people can be more flexible than smaller ones, and vice versa.
Flexibility is largely independent of weight, while a 'bikini body' is arguably just any body that wears a bikini. That's it.

Popularity

Thankfully, #BellyButtonChallenge seems to be something of a storm in a teacup, with only a very limited number of social media users posting photos of themselves doing it. Anecdotally, comments on articles indicate that most people aren't taking the trend too seriously, and are highlighting the fact that wearing a small dress size has nothing to do with being able to reach around your waist to touch your belly button- and of course, those with longer arms have a natural advantage.

Backlash

One social media user comments that, thanks to a decade or more of yoga, she has hyper-mobile shoulders and so is easily able to do the Belly Button Challenge, despite having a larger body since giving birth just over a year ago. She writes: "Still wearing a bikini this summer though. It’s the only suit that comfortably fits, supports, and contains (me). Between being old, trying to keep a toddler alive, and working full time I don’t have any f--- left to spare for what strangers think of my jiggly body anyway."
With that kind of refreshingly positive and defiant attitude, it seems that the Belly Button Challenge should soon be on its way out.
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