You might use your iPhone regularly to take photos, but how often do you pose for pictures with the device itself? That’s what’s happening this week in China, where women have begun flooding social media with photos of their smartphones covering their knees to prove how thin they are.
Experts said the trend, called “iPhone 6 legs,” has become popular as way for these women to meet modern beauty standards. But it could be unhealthy.
“The pressure for women to conform to a thinness ideal pervades all parts of the developed world, and China is no exception to the rule,” Lisa Moore, a researcher and advocate at the Women’s Foundation, told the South China Morning Post. “Media has played a significant role in transmitting thinness norms and values, which has shown links to increased body image dissatisfaction, eating disorders and lowered self-esteem among women.”
An iPhone 6 is 5.44 inches long and 2.64 inches wide, according to Apple's website, and “the whole point of this latest trend is to have your knees completely covered by the smartphone,” Asia One reported.
It’s caught on quickly. The term “iPhone 6 legs” recently trended on the widely used Chinese social network Sina Weibo, with more than 67 million views and 50,000 comments on the issue, Shanghaiist reported.
— AsiaOne (@sphasiaone) March 31, 2016
The iPhone 6 legs meme comes about two weeks after a similar fad, called the A4 Waist, went viral. In that trend, Chinese women shared photos of themselves posing with pieces of paper — 8.3 by 11.7 inches — in front of their stomachs to show off their slim figures. #A4Waist garnered more than 110 million views on Weibo, the Guardian reported.
The A4 Waist trend generated similar outcry from people concerned about promoting unhealthy habits.
“I find it completely stupid. ... Everybody has a different frame and body shape,” He Xiaobin, a fashion editor at the Chinese GQ magazine, told the New York Times earlier this month. “Using a single size to define all human beings and thinking you have created a new standard is arrogant and foolish.”