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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019

The 'belly button challenge' is taking over the internet - but what is it?

This massive social media trend is just getting started.

bellybutton2 Source: Instagram

PREPARE YOURSELVES, YOU might be seeing the belly button challenge taking over social media in the next few days.

But what exactly is it?

Well, the challenge is to reach around your back to touch your belly button and it has gone super viral in China in the last couple of days.

Users of the Chinese social media site Weibo have been posting images of themselves doing the challenge

belly2 Source: Instagram

According to the BBC, the topic is trending on Weibo and the term used can be translated as ”reaching your belly button from behind to show your good figure.”

It has been mentioned over 130 million times on Weibo, and shows no signs of stopping as it spreads to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook outside China yesterday:

According to the Daily Mail, the Weibo users are claiming that the challenge proves you have a healthy body and are basing it on a US scientific study.

No links for that study have been provided on any website however, and a proper citation is nowhere to be seen on Weibo either.

This photo of a young Chinese boy completing it was the most shared challenge on the site this week


It has currently been shared over 8000 times on Weibo.

But it turned out he was faking it


“I just wanted to prove that fat people can do it too!” read the caption.

But does the challenge show you have a healthy body?

No, in the sense that there doesn’t seem to be any direct correlation between passing the test and knowing you are healthy. Charlie Seltzer, a US doctor specialising in weight-loss spoke to Cosmo:

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.

belly6 Source: Instagram

Jolene Tan, a senior manager at women’s rights group Aware in Singapore told The Telegraph that the trend might actually have a sinister edge to it:

Quirky poses and pictures can be fun but, sometimes, they also become expressions of competitiveness or insecurity. It’s one more way of scrutinising women’s bodies to see whether they are ‘good enough. We need to do more to promote acceptance of diversity in women’s bodies.

belly3 Source: Instagram

So, now. The #bellybuttonchallenge might be coming to a timeline near you, but it doesn’t actually mean anything, according to the experts.

More Here’s the controversy behind the internet’s ‘hold a coke with your boobs’ challenge>

More Teenagers are doing the ‘Kylie Jenner lip challenge’ and it’s legit horrifying>

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About the author:

David Elkin

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