The Belly Button Challenge Is Going Viral, and It Needs to Stop
If you've been on the Internet lately, you've probably seen photos and coverage of the viral "belly button challenge." You know, the ridiculous "test" to see if you can reach your arm around your back and touch your belly button, supposedly determining if you need to lose weight. According to BuzzFeed, "the challenge started on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter," which is why there are many Chinese girls and women posting photos of the completed — or not completed — challenge. Naturally, with the help of the hashtag #bellybuttonchallenge, the test has gone viral, and photos are being posted by women everywhere; some girls even appear to be under the age of 10. As if girls need more reasons to scrutinize their bodies and compare them to unrealistic standards.
Cosmopolitan.com spoke to a weight-loss specialist to find out if the belly button challenge has any credibility in determining one's health status. "If you can touch your belly button from behind your back, you could be in better shape than someone who can't — but you shouldn't have a false sense of security about your health. You might have a small waist and look healthy, but your blood work could show that you're just as unhealthy as someone who weighs 400 pounds," said Charlie Seltzer, M.D.
You're probably tempted to try the challenge now if you haven't already (I was, and no, I couldn't do it). Maybe you have short arms, maybe you're not that flexible, or maybe you're, you know, more concerned with your physical health regardless of the size of your waist. Here's your reminder that strong is the new sexy, and you don't have to listen to what anyone else — or a silly Internet challenge — tells you about being skinny.