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Can ‘A4 waist’ and ‘bikini bridge’ really assess good figures?

By Yuan Can (People's Daily Online)    15:36, March 24, 2016

An A4 waist has become the latest standard for a good figure in China, following last year’s popular “skinny” challenge of touching one’s belly button by reaching around one’s back. The A4 waist challenge consists of women posing with A4 standard printing paper against their waists, showing off that their waists fit within the measurements of the paper. If one's waist can be covered by a vertical A4 paper, he or she has a “good figure.”

In other countries, there are many different tests and challenges — such as the bikini bridge, where a woman is so skinny that her hip bones lift the front of her bikini up when she lies down — regarded as the standard for a good figure.

But do these standards really mean anything?

Some netizens applaud slim figures but many disapprove of the craze as unhealthy, saying that everyone has his or her own body type and it is unreasonable to define humans by their size. In fact, doctors say that human figures are decided by the length of the waistline and the size of the skeleton and pelvis. The belly button challenge is also unscientific because it depends not only on the size of one’s waistline but also on the length of one's arm.

Overseas media has criticized the trend, stating that Chinese women pay too much attention to weight. However, the problem is a global one; experts cite the bikini bridge as another bad example for young people. Ultimately, healthy living habits and physical exercise are more important than meeting any supposed standard of beauty.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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