Seeing how many coins can be stacked on a collarbone, or collarbones – #collarbonechallenge – has been a recent trend on social media within China. The tipping point seemed to have come when Chinese actress Lv Jiarong posted a picture of herself on Weibo, apparently balancing about 80 coins on her collarbones.
Image Source: Lv Jiarong, Weibo.
Because collarbones are supposedly the new sexy.
A bit like ankles were in the past.
Images such as the above, have raised concerns by some commentators related to body image and notions of body shaming.
As tends to happen on the internet.
That if a female has not achieved this latest (and probably faddish) hallmark bodily of perfection as “skinny and sexy” by showing her collarbones, she’s going to be shamed and taunted into poor physical and mental health.
The serious concerns are related to females starving themselves to achieve protruding collarbones, and becoming unhealthy waif-like figures of skin and bones in the process. Which when coupled with body shaming, may be linked with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
Similar health concerns were raised over other social media trends such as bikini bridges and thigh gaps.
However, the balancing of coins on the collarbone could also be a nonissue, like underboob selfies, at least from a health perspective.
It may also amount to nothing, like other been-and-gone fads, like makankosappo.
Some aspects of what is considered attractive tend to be more hardwired psychologically, evolutionarily speaking, compared to others which are more determined by society at the time.
Regarding the collarbone coin challenge, consider that it’s about the clavicle (the collarbone). All other things being equal, having longer clavicles likely means more coins can be balanced on them. So having a broader chest and shoulders, which tends to be considered a masculine quality, or a manly trait (and also a factor of male physical attractiveness), is going help to balance more coins along the collarbone.
Second, consider that visibly behind the collarbones are the trapezius muscles (the “traps”) of the upper back. Having larger trapezius muscles angling down from the sides of the neck to the shoulders is going to help provide more muscle – which is flesh – to balance coins on at the back of the collarbone. Again, this tends to be more suggestive of a physical quality which is typically viewed as being more attractive on males than females. It’s also not suggestive of starvation, because that’s not going build larger muscles.
Third, is that notwithstanding body shape, bone structure and musculature or lack thereof, the balancing of coins on the collarbone is also somewhat of a skill. Or at least, there’s a trick to it. The ability to push the shoulders slightly forward and upwards, in addition to being able to flex the trapezius muscles is going to further expose the clavicles and hollow out the area behind them. Making it easier to balance more coins in the hollow running along and behind collarbone.
All in all, while there could be a risk of females starving themselves to balance coins on their collarbones, anatomically and even psychologically, there’s little to suggest this social media trend is a health risk.
Or that it’s even a particularly attractive trend for females to pursue.
In fact the coin challenge is already being mocked on social media with both males and females balancing all sorts of things on their collarbones.
Plus if someone really wants to do sexy by balancing something on their body, head porterage is surely where it’s at.
Of course this all just opinion, so put your two cents or more worth of coins in about the collarbone challenge by answering the uthinki question below:
Feature Image Credit: danabooo