Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Reaction Wednesday

For this Reaction Wednesday, I wanted to write about this recent trend I found out about through social media. (I realize today isn't Wednesday, but I really felt passionate about this topic and didn't want to wait until tomorrow.) It's called, "The Belly Button Challenge." At first glance, I didn't read the article attached to the picture. My initial thought was: "Here we go again, another stupid and unattainable body-image-thing." Then I read the article. My thoughts then were: "This is horrifying. Why does this exist? Why are there people who actually think this idea of "healthy" is attainable and actually healthy?"  Yes, some individuals are naturally thin and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Go you! You're beautiful! However, implying or explicitly stating that those who cannot do this challenge successfully are unhealthy?

Completely not okay.

Image found on google
I've read a few articles on it and I'll link them all at the end of this post. However, the one thing a lot of these articles have in common is that they tend to agree with my own thought process. Even with a "scientific study" emerging with confirmation that you MUST be able to do this stupid challenge other wise you're nothing or unhealthy--all the articles I read thought just about the same about this challenge as I do. First of all, what is this "Belly Button Challenge?" Well, it's taking your hand, wrapping it around your back and seeing if you can reach around to touch your belly button (as seen in image on right). Sounds as insane as it actually is, doesn't it? I do not and will probably never understand how these crazy "health" or body image "ideals" get started in the first place. I read an article that likened this "craze" to the thigh-gap-body-image-ideal...it's just not attainable and completely unrealistic for most human beings. 

Reaching your belly button in a weird position does not make you a healthy person. You know what does? Let me list, shall I?

  1. Eating clean or trying to eat a balanced/healthy-ish diet
  2. Doing light to moderate exercise a few times a week
  3. How's your cholesterol/blood pressure/vitamin and mineral levels/etc.?
  4. Taking a look at your mental health
  5. Looking at the people you choose to surround yourself with
  6. If you are truly happy/fulfilled or can find moments of this in your life
  7. NOT being able to touch your belly button in an odd position
I could not locate this "scientific" research anywhere on the internet and it is supposedly a study done in the U.S. I would like to know the parameters of this research. Who was in and/what was the sample size like? Who were the researchers? What were their credentials? I could not locate any of this anywhere. What I did find out was that a lot of celebrities, especially those in China, are posing  and posting images of themselves completing this challenge. They claim that if you are unsuccessful that you're unhealthy and/or need to lose weight. This is perhaps the most dangerous thing, I think.

Even without the celebrity factor, this thing this MONSTER has spread across social media like a wild fire. One should think about how many young (and younger than you may like to think about) individuals are viewing this and thinking they're not good enough the way they are because of this challenge. Even when I consider my initial reaction to this, I remember thinking, "Whoa, I know I can't do that. Maybe I should work out more." 
This is how powerful social media or the media in general can be. Imagine a young woman or man who already may have self-esteem or body-image issues/doubts seeing this challenge? Perhaps, even, this person doesn't have the capacity or maturity level, developmental-wise, to research it such as I have done and others. Ugh, the thought alone is terrifying. It makes me scared to have children of my own one day who will look at things like this or worse. 

Bottom line, please do not let things like this challenge define you or how you feel about yourself or your body. It's insanity and really has NO research behind it whatsoever. If there was, it would have been publicly...well published. Here's to the "Who can eat the most sushi challenge"(one I'd enter in a heartbeat), or the "Make a Green Smoothie You Like Challenge," or the "Feel Good in Your Own Skin Challenge" (again, a heartbeat).

How about a challenge that doesn't bring some people up while bringing others WAY down? Huh?
Anyway, what do you think about the belly button challenge? Let me know in the comments!

Articles read/research:
Hello Giggles
ABC News
Daily Mail

Link to my blog post about body image:
Clickity Click

Don't forget to breathe.

No comments:

Post a Comment