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Viral 'Headphones Challenge' on TikTok Faces Backlash for Promoting Unhealthy Body Image

Screenshot of the viral TikTok challenge.

Screenshot of the viral TikTok challenge.

The Dubai based journalist said that she is greatly concerned about the challenge promoting eating disorders.

A controversial social media challenge which encourages people to tie earphones around their waists in order ‘to prove they are thin’ has been slammed by an influencer. Thirty three-year-old Danae Mercer took to Instagram to show her concern where she shared a video of a woman wearing a crop top and athletic leggings,wrapping earphones around her waist twice and then ties them in a knot.

The Dubai-based journalist said that she is greatly concerned about the challenge promoting eating disorders. While sharing the video, Danae explained why she found the trend problematic. In the caption, she wrote that it needs to be talked about what’s happening on TikTok and added a warning that the post includes assault, weight, beliefs and more.

Then, she goes on to write that she wants to "keep the platform a happy platform, a safe spot in a world that’s pretty heavy."She goes on to write that when she sees eight year old talking about their diets, 13 year olds sharing their BMIs, 16 year old males talking about choking and spitting and little children wrapping iPhone cords around their waists to check their size, she needs to talk. The journalist revealed that she has a call scheduled with TikTok to talk about this issue. Explaining further, she wrote that she likes TikTtok as a platform but it doesn’t like her as it "deletes accounts of activists and censor marginalized bodies and voices. It mutes them altogether."

She added that she has left out a lot of stuff she has seen or been sent because little girls are picking their bodies apart to prove how they match certain body challenge trends. Danae shared that as a journalist, she is tired of sitting back and hoping something will change and as an eating disorder survivor, she is greatly concerned.

Read the post here:

According to Daily Mail, the trend is believed to have emerged from Chinese social media site Weibo in February last year, when a woman tried to wrap a headphones cord around her waist. The user shared a post about challenges surrounding body measurements and then introduced this method to do so. Then, the challenge shifted to TikTok where hundreds of videos were featured showing tiny waists with earphones wrapped around them.

first published:February 09, 2021, 08:05 IST