The Lipstick-on-Collarbone Challenge Is the Latest Toxic Beauty Standard to Hit China

Besides lipsticks, Chinese netizens have also experimented with balancing coins, eggs, and even fish on their collarbones to prove that they're skinny. 
china-lipstick-collarbon-viral-challenge-skinny
(L) A set of lipsticks. For illustrative purposes only. Photo by Patricia Palma on Unsplash. (R) A lipstick-on-collarbone challenge social media post. Photo from Weibo

China’s obsession with finding bizarre ways to measure slimness just never ends. The latest addition to these unhealthy but enduring toxic beauty standards has netizens balancing lipsticks on their collarbones. Yes, you read that right. And yes, we’re just as bewildered as you are.

The challenge seems to have started with Chinese actress Chen Shu. On March 2, she posted photos of herself with a classy off-shoulder top and a killer smize. But the real star of the photoset? A lipstick perched delicately on Chen’s collarbone.

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China lipstick on collarbone challenge

Screenshot from Weibo.

“New collarbone skill unlocked,” her caption reads, “Join me in this challenge.”

And join her they did. Within 24 hours, the Weibo topic attracted over 150 million views and 18,000 comments, with many netizens sharing photos of themselves attempting the challenge.

China lipstick on collarbone challenge
China lipstick on collarbone challenge
China lipstick on collarbone challenge
China lipstick on collarbone challenge

Image from Weibo.

Besides lipsticks, Chinese netizens have, in the past, also experimented with balancing coins, eggs, and even fish on their collarbones.

China coins on collarbone challenge

Image from Weibo.

China egg on collarbone challenge

Yes, actual fish.

China fish on collarbone challenge

Image from Weibo.

Chen didn’t explicitly say that the challenge is weight-related, but like all other collarbone challenges, the connotation is clear: if you can do it, that means you’re thin enough.

There is a long-standing obsession with having a pronounced collarbone, which many associate with being skinny. However, some people actually just have naturally protruding clavicles.

One’s collarbones play a much more important role that goes beyond vanity. Its primary functions are to hold the shoulder upright, as well as protect nerves and blood vessels in the neck and shoulder.

I would go on a rant about the toxicity of these pointless challenges, but I already did. And I think we already know that another baffling measure of skinniness will make its rounds on Chinese social media soon enough.

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This article originally appeared on VICE ASIA.