The A4 Waist Challenge? The Body Shaming Has GOT to Stop.

By Hannah Bundock

Hey, who’s heard about this new crazy trend of measuring yourself?

You hold up a piece of A4 paper in front of your stomach, and the aim is for your waist to be so small that it disappears behind it…How stupid is that?! Apparently it’s mainly taking off in China at the moment, but it’s only a matter of time before people over here start ‘rising to the challenge’ themselves, and I, personally, am dreading it.

Now I’m not going to lecture you all on how unhealthy it is for people to diet and exercise in extreme manners in order to meet this criteria; I’m assuming you lot have enough brain cells to figure that out for yourselves. Instead I want us all to look at the bigger picture, at female body image in general and the way it seems to divide us.

Usually it starts with a new trend, like the one above, thigh gaps or something of a similar nature, and then it develops into shaming of some sort.

The people who don’t have this new ‘desirable feature’ start to feel bad about themselves, or angry at those who are trying to impose this ‘ideal body image’ on them. In turn, these ladies will post things on social media criticising these features. I’ve seen everything from ‘You wouldn’t want a steak that was nothing but bone, why would you want a woman that way?’  ‘Real men like curves, only dogs go for bones’ right up to ‘There is no excuse for being fat.’  Enough is enough.

Most of the pressure we  feel these days is generated by other women. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a man post anything with regards to the weight he prefers his lady to be. Like, EVER! It’s us that seem to want to permanently pass judgement on other women. Why?! Seriously, what are we achieving by doing this? Of course, scrutinising others isn’t new – it’s a way of giving yourself a dirty little ego boost.

Have the confidence to enjoy your own body, and please, let’s stop putting each other down.


But in reality, as long as you are comfortable in your own body it honestly doesn’t matter what weight you are, or anyone else is. I genuinely believe that confidence is the sexiest aspect of any woman. To me, confidence doesn’t look like posting dozen of pictures of yourself to show off your ‘hot bod’, to me that looks like you’re fishing for compliments because you’re secretly insecure. Equally I don’t think confidence is posting insulting memes explaining why your body shape is so much more desirable than someone else’s. Skinny shaming and fat shaming, they are as bad as each other and they need to stop. The war needs to end.

Skinny Siren or Curvy Queen, we can all be beautiful in our own way. Let’s stop bickering among ourselves as to what a woman ‘should’ look like and enjoy the fact that we are all different.  Everyone has a different preference, so no matter what your body shape or style, you will be someone’s perfect 10. Screw it, be your own perfect 10. Who are you trying to impress? Have the confidence to enjoy your own body, and please, let’s stop putting each other down.

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