Among the many pressing hot topics in the news last week, comes a viral story from Asia regarding a challenge that involves wedging a writing utensil under your breast. The story was searched with a vengeance, and now the people want to know: do I pass the underboob challenge?
Scratching your head? The aforementioned challenge is a based on a series of miscommunications and maybe even an old wives tale that a woman must wear a bra if her breasts are large enough to grip a writing utensil under her breast. If the pen falls to the floor, your breasts are fleshless enough to forgo a bra. This concept resurfaced (from whatever nonsensical place it came from) in the '70s when women began to express their desires to go braless. Apparently some woman stood up and declared, "If your pen falls to the floor, go ahead!"
All it takes it one person to "fail" the test ("failing" would mean that their breast was large enough to grip the pen and thus they should not burn their bra) to decide that failing is actually also winning, because either way, boobs! This person then uploaded the photographic evidence of their winning fail and BAM! Curiosity spreads across the web like wildfire. Not to mention anything with the word "boob" in a headline is typically an easy win. Add the word "photo" and you're on a one way train to viral town.
And clearly, as I type this I'm sitting at my desk with a pen in my lap. That's right, I didn't make the cut. The good news is according to the rule, I can burn my bra. Which is actually no news because I wasn't wearing one anyway. What? Don't judge me, you're not impervious to viral Internet trends. Really, I dare you: do NOT put a pen under your boob, do not participate in the test.
If you're still shaking your head and asking yourself why this Internet trend is happening and why people care so much, feast your eyes on some ghosts of Internet trends past:
The Collarbone Challenge
This challenge originated in China and called for young women to place a roll of coins on her collarbone. If they coins stay in place, it means the young woman's collarbone is defined and deep which could be a sign of being skinny. It's a super mindless challenge – all collarbones are beautiful no matter how many coins they carry! Use a change purse instead!
The Belly Button Challenge
In another inadvertent body-shaming effort from China, young women attempted to touch their belly button by wrapping their arm around their own back. To reach your belly button was said to indicate that the young woman was fit. Just for the record, I asked my yoga teacher about this one and he said it has more to do with shoulder flexibility, so this one's cray, too.
The Bikini Bridge Challenge
This challenge requires participants to do nothing but lay down in a bikini. If their hipbones hold up the fabric of their bikini bottoms away from their pelvis, they "pass" the challenge. (Ugh.)