The thigh gap fixation. The “cinnamon challenge“. More recently, the “Kylie Jenner challenge“.
The list of trends and trouble teens have gotten into in the last couple years could go on and on. Many of these fads aren’t just ridiculous – they’re dangerous. Here in the summer of 2015, three new stupid crazes among teenagers are no different. They have a lot to do with body image and appearance, which is worrisome.
First up, the #BellyButtonChallenge. In this one, teens wrap their arms behind their backs and try to touch their belly button with their hand. Doing this, People magazine reports, is “based on the idea that being able to touch your belly button from behind is an indicator of good health and being at an ideal weight.”
While experts in that article explain this contortion is not an indicator of good health, teens are participating and posting the pictures as proof to social media sites like Instagram. Try this, and prepare for a sore shoulder. Ouch.
Next, we introduce you to another superficial, this-is-sure-to-encourage-body-issues challenge: #TheCollarboneChallenge. In this one, people are setting an object, mainly stacks of coins, along their collarbones to prove how skinny they are – or as Cosmopolitan summarizes, citing sources on this trend, it’s supposed to mean, “the more you balance, the sexier and skinnier you are.” (Seriously, where do people come up with this stuff?)
Cosmo did a roundup of photos in which folks are balancing random objects on their clavicles, like apples and dog poop bag holders (that one has definitely got to be a joke, we think?). Yet in reality, there are people partaking in this challenge.
Perhaps even stranger than the first two summer 2015 trends – and definitely more painful – is the sunburn tattoo, or sunburn art. That is, to protect parts of your skin in a design or pattern, and then allow the areas around it to tan and burn in the sun. While some media is reporting this really isn’t a big trend, pointing out some obviously Photoshopped images and noting media is making this more than it is, other outlets are taking this possible trend as an opportunity to warn about the health risks associated with sunburns.
All of these senseless ideas teens are and could be trying out are absurd and, actually, quite concerning. The first two “challenges” described here are doing nothing but enforcing extreme body standards and proving that for some reason, people can’t let go of this idea that skinny = the most beautiful body type. These fads could encourage some truly unhealthy lifestyle choices, causing teens to do anything to achieve the unachievable, like with the “thigh gap” craze. The last brilliant idea with the sunburns is not only unbearable, but could cause skin cancer! C’mon, people!
Parents, just be mindful of what your teen is up to on social media, and assure them they don’t have to damage their bodies or fit a certain mold to be accepted.
We want to know: what are your thoughts on this summer’s teen trends? Have you heard of any others? Comment below!