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Behind The “One Finger Selfie Challenge”

The One Finger Selfie Challenge, a new online trend, has got international media and netizens talking. After the A4 waist and iPhone 6 legs, another Weibo hashtag gives netizens an opportunity to show off their slender bodies.

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After the A4 waist and iPhone6 legs hype, there is a new online challenge in China and beyond where women share risque photos of themselves on social media. The ‘One Finger Selfie Challenge’ comes shortly after Alipay’s social platform sparked controversy in China for the flood of nude pictures. What is up with this nude selfie hype?

UPDATE: All images of the challenge in this article have been removed to stay in compliance with google’s policies, sorry for any inconvenience.

A new online trend has got international media and netizens talking. After the A4 waist and iPhone 6 legs, another Weibo hashtag gives netizens an opportunity to show off their slender bodies.

In the so-called One Finger Selfie Challenge, women take nude photos of themselves through a mirror while covering their private parts with just one finger.

The challenge was triggered by a manga illustration from anime artist Sky-FreeDom, who is active on multiple social media platforms.

 

WHERE IT ALL STARTED

“One finger is not enough to cover everything..”

 

The ‘One Finger Selfie’ manga was first posted August 15 of this year on Twitter, where it received over 1800 likes and 800 shares. A day later, the artist also posted it on Japanese online community Pixiv.

On Pixiv, Sky Freedom is known as “Sky” (スカイ). The artist, who describes himself as a Malaysian Chinese cartoonist, is also popular on Weibo as @Sky Freedom (253.170 followers), and has a following of 8580 on Twitter under the @sky_freedom_ handle.

When the ‘One Finger Selfie Challenge’ initially became trending after mid-November, the artist responded with a clear “Hahahahahaha!” on his Weibo account. When the trend spread to more countries like Russia and Australia by late November, the artist reacted surprised but seemed happy about the hype.

“This whole thing makes Sky happy as a child,” one of his fans commented.

Another Weibo user seemed disappointed: “I have tried it but this is not working for me, one finger is not enough to cover everything.”

 

ONE FINGER COVERS THREE SPOTS

“Why are you willing to sell your morals for a challenge?”

 

On Sina Weibo, girls are posting nude one finger selfies under the hashtag ‘One Finger Challenge’ (#单指挑战#) or ‘One Finger Covers Three Spots’ (#一指遮三点挑战#).

Although there are many pictures floating around Chinese social media, a great number were taken offline by the time of writing.

Sina Weibo does not allow ‘pornography’ or ‘illegal publications’ (扫黄打非) to be shared on its platform, although it not always clear what the boundaries are.

Many Weibo netizens seem happy with the picture trends. “These girls are pretty cool,” some netizens said.

When others complained that the girls all had small breasts, another commenter said: “They wouldn’t be able to do this challenge if their breasts were bigger.”

Some netizens could not appreciate the challenge: “I hope I won’t see these pictures again on my timeline. I am a bit older, and I don’t understand this hype. Why are you willing to sell your morals for a challenge?”, one female netizen said.

 

SOCIAL EXHIBITION

“Sending nudes is a way of getting attention and compliments to build self-confidence.”

 

The One Finger Selfie Challenge is just one among the many selfie trends that have come up on Chinese social media over the past year. There was the collarbone coin challenge, the iPhone6 leg trend, or the A4 waist hype – all big hypes that involved posting selfies with containing (partial) nudity.

Earlier this week, e-finance app Alipay sparked controversy when some of its newly introduced social groups turned into erotic platforms where women posted nudes of themselves.

Why is this kind of social exhibition so ubiquitous on (Chinese) social media? According to recent studies on selfie-sharing, the need to belong and the need for self-representation play an important role in this (Sorokowska et al 2016, 119).

With the sharing of nude selfies, exploring sexuality also plays a role besides the need to ‘fit in.’ Especially for women, sending nudes is a way of getting attention and compliments about their looks to help build self-confidence (ESRC 2016).

In Sexting and Cyberbullying (2014), Shaheen Shariff explains the phenomenon of nude female selfies in the context of popular culture, where powerful female celebrities are marketing the ‘modern woman’ as being strong and sexually assertive. Shariff points out that although many women might feel empowered by sharing their own sexualized images, they often do not realize that they are also sexually objectified through them (2014, 45-46).

But for many netizens, the One Finger Selfie Challenge is also just all about fun. Shortly after women posted their (nearly) nude selfies for the challenge, other netizens responded by interpreting the challenge in their own way, some girls posing with their clothes on. Some male netizens also posted pictures of themselves, many making fun of the challenge.

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“We’re blessed with this challenge on Weibo,” one male netizen responded. Another person said: “I’ve been practicing for half a day now, and did not manage to cover three spots with one finger, but I did manage to cover one spot with three fingers.”

– By Manya Koetse
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References

ESRC. 2016. “Why are young people sharing nude selfies?” Economic and Social Research Council, November 3 http://www.esrc.ac.uk/news-events-and-publications/news/news-items/why-are-young-people-sharing-nude-selfies/ [3.12.16].

Shariff, Shaheen. 2014 (2012). Sexting and Cyberbullying: Defining the Line for Digitally Empowered Kids. Cambridge University Press.

Sorokowska, A., Oleszkiewicz, A., Frackowiak, T., Pisanski, K., Chmiel, A., & Sorokowski, P. 2016. “Selfies and personality: Who posts self-portrait photographs?” Personality and Individual Differences, 90, 119–123.

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Local News

Disgruntled Woman Cuts Up 32 Wedding Dresses in Chongqing Bridal Salon

The woman ruined 32 wedding dresses – worth at least $11,000 – because she wanted her $550 deposit back.

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On January 9, an argument between a female customer and a bridal store staff member escalated when the angry customer took out scissors and ruined more a total of 32 wedding dresses by cutting them up.

A video of the incident went viral on Chinese social media, showing the woman taking out wedding gown after wedding gown and cutting them with scissors. The person filming can be heard saying “Think clearly, these dresses cost thousands [yuan],” with the woman responding: “Thousands? Even it’s ten-thousands, it doesn’t matter.”

The incident happened in the city’s Jiangjin District at a store that sells bridal gowns and also offers wedding services. According to Chinese media site Sohu.com, the wedding store manager told reporters that the woman named Jiang first made arrangements with the bridal salon in April 2021 for her October 5th wedding – she booked a wedding package for 8000 yuan ($1260).

Four months later, in August, the woman asked the bridal shop if her wedding arrangements could be postponed. When the woman came to the shop again in November, saying she wanted to cancel all arrangements and get her down payment of 3500 yuan ($550) back, the shop refused due to their policy of not refunding advanced payments. They did offer to instead provide some arrangements for a child’s 100th-day celebration, as the woman was allegedly expecting a baby.

Although the woman initially agreed with this, she suddenly returned to the shop on January 9th and started acting out. In her anger, she proceeded to ruin 32 wedding dresses. The woman was taken away by the police after the shop assistant alerted them and was detained. She has since said she is sorry for her behavior.

According to the shop owner, the woman’s husband offered to compensate the store for over 60,000 yuan ($9420), but he has not paid a penny yet. The woman allegedly ruined 32 dresses with a total worth of at least 70,000 yuan ($11,000).

On Weibo, thousands of commenters have responded to the incident.

“What on earth was she thinking?” some write, with others saying that the woman should be held criminally liable for her acts and deserves a prison sentence. Others argued that pregnancy hormones could be blamed for the woman’s unreasonable behavior, and said the woman should no go to prison but stay home and rest instead. There was one thing virtually all commenters agreed on, which is that the shop should soon be fully compensated for all damages.

By Manya Koetse

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©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Health & Science

Footage Shows Mysterious Flashes Before Qinghai Earthquake

The flashes of light seen in the sky right before the Qinghai earthquake have become a trending topic on Weibo.

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Videos of the January 8th quake, which occurred in Qinghai’s Menyuan county, appear to show several intense flashes of light filling the night sky immediately preceding the quake. The videos have sparked debate among Chinese internet users as to the explanation for the brilliant lights, with some referencing the little-understood phenomenon of “Earthquake Lights.”

On January 8 at approximately 1:45 AM, Menyuan County in the Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in China’s Qinghai Province was struck by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake, damaging several homes and causing minor injuries to four people.

Photos of buildings in the area show shattered wall tiling and window glass, a partial ceiling collapse, and other minor structural damage. The area around the quake’s epicenter is sparsely populated, but tremors could be felt in numerous nearby cities including Zhangye, Wuwei, Jinchang, Lanzhou, and Linxia Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu, as well as causing railway closures along the Qinghai-Tibet and Lanzhou-Qinghai high-speed rail lines, Jiangxi Daily reports.

The earthquake was followed by several subsequent quakes, including 5 quakes of lesser magnitude all within the hour.

According to the China Earthquake Administration, the quakes continued into the 9th, with a magnitude 3.2 earthquake recorded in Menyuan county at 0:44 on January 9th.

CCTV footage shot moments before the quake and shared widely on Weibo captured a bright, explosive flash of light, which quickly disappears before a second, shorter flash lights up the night sky, followed immediately by tremors.

The footage intrigued Chinese netizens, with the hashtag “Intense Flash of Light on the Horizon Before the Qinghai Earthquake” (#青海地震前地平线出现耀眼强光#) accumulating over 100 million views by Sunday and giving rise to debate over the cause of the strange lights. Other videos capturing the flash from different angles show only one flash, or several smaller flashes along the horizon.

Much of the debate centered around whether this was a case of “Earthquake Lights” (地光/地震光, also EQLs), a controversial phenomenon among scientists which is sometimes reported before high-magnitude earthquakes, such as Italy’s 2009 L’Aquila quake.

Just before and after quakes begin, witnesses have reported seeing unexplainable light phenomena in a range of colors, ranging from brilliant white flashes as bright as daylight to a blue, flame-like glow hovering above the earth.

Explanations range from the ionization of oxygen in rocks under intense stress, piezoelectric or triboluminescent phenomena, and leaks of radioactive ionizing gas into the atmosphere to more mundane sources, such as the flailing of damaged power lines. Sometimes the lights were also said to come from UFOs or explained them in religious terms, but a 2014 study refuted this and linked the phenomenon to rift environments.

Interestingly, this is not the first time the phenomenon has been reported to precede a major earthquake in China. Some Weibo users remarked that “Earthquake Lights” had been seen before the disastrous 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which damaged or destroyed vast swathes of that city and killed over 240,000 people. Two movies depicting the quake, After the Blue Light Flashes.. (蓝光闪过之后..) and The Great Tangshan Earthquake (唐山大地震) both feature scenes of mysterious bright lights illuminating the night sky moments before tremors began.

Strange lights were also reported in the sky in Tianshui, Gansu province, preceding the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Other Weibo users remained unconvinced about the strange lights being mysterious Earthquake Lights. “Don’t freak out over it,” one user wrote: “It’s just a downed power line.”

Another online video features commentary from seismologist Chen Huizhong (陈会忠) of the China Earthquake Administration, who explains the flashes as an electrical transformer exploding, noting that footage from another angle shows the tremors damaging electrical lines in the distance, which begin sparking and showing obvious signs of damage. This damage, however, occurs after the tremors have already started, and does not seem to explain the bright flashes which lit up the sky immediately preceding the tremors.

Still others suggested that radon gas leaking from underground as the earth shifted could have caused the flash.

While the debate rages on between proponents and skeptics of “Earthquake Lights,” a third group of online commenters has already made up their minds: the Weibo fans of prominent Chinese science fiction writer and The Three-Body Problem author Liu Cixin (刘慈欣), wasted no time in heralding the coming of extraterrestrial invaders.

“Looking forward to a scientific explanation,” wrote one user: “As for me, I think it’s the first step in an alien attack.” The user’s post ended with the hashtag, “The Sophon from Three-Body Problem has arrived!”

 
By Luke Jacobus

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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