A4 Waist Challenge

by Camilla Podini

An A4 piece of paper and a photo camera. Common and harmless objects which are becoming the ground of a dangerous vortex, intended to attract many other ingenuous victims: A4 WAIST CHALLENGE.

This new and dangerous trend comes from Japan, and it consists in taking a picture of yourself putting on your waistline one of these papers used by artists to draw, which has a different role in this occasion.

The aim is showing a waistline thinner than the width of the paper, so it disappears behind the A4 piece which covers it perfectly. And it doesn’t matter front or back, written or plain, the essential is showing everyone your thinness.

When we think we passed it all, from selfies to food porn, here is a new mode more insidious than before.

Easy to judge, hard to understand.

Is it a challenge with other people or with ourselves? Proud, narcissism and cheek, or complex, insecurity and fixation?

Maybe the insecurity pulls us to face our complexes provoking unexpected reactions, which led to a fixation, to a myth on which we start focusing our attentions.

The most widespread mania is the one about  our body, which has to respect strict rules and skinny shapes: if this aspiration can be useful to stimulate young people to practice sport and physical activity, at the same time it can represent the first step toward worrying disturbs. Anorexia and bulimia, which affect young women who refuse food or self-induce vomit to avoid calories, are the most famous eating disorders, but they’re not the only ones.

Bigorexia is the obsession for the fitness, which can be obtained through extended ans exhausting physical trainings, or through the excessive control of the food. In this case the victims are mostly male, who take ambiguous and unknown pills to improve their muscular appearance and tone.

A healthy habit like sport can turn into physical and psychological disturbs when a simple passion change into a worship.

Sometimes the excessive care of our body is an escape and a way to break down our insecurities and lack of self-esteem, sometimes someone’s else judgement caused uneasiness and fear, or sometimes media influence makes us feel rejected.

The pressure that television, magazines and social network have on teenagers’ lives and minds is becoming bigger and bigger: models and shapes they show us, always perfect and gorgeous, turn into rules that we are supposed to respect to maintain credibility and worth.

The plans that featured and distinguished generations in the past are levelled now, and are creating myths like the fitness one which links teenagers and influences us so much that we create insidious manias like the A4 Waist Challenge.

We all are annoyed by similar attitudes, but we all are influenced by them. We all want to feel comfortable without using these ways, but we all keep judging others. And “ALL” can represents the cure: we face these situations alone, forgetting other people are feeling the same doubts and insecurities. Confiding, helping and exposing our feelings is the right way to avoid the vortex.

Actual society has set into teenagers’ minds the myth that thinness means beauty, leading us to find out more and more dangerous ways to show it, forgetting that qualities as intelligence, creativity and bravery make the difference.

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