Social media has generated plenty of unhealthy beauty standards. There’s #thinspo on Instagram and Tumblr, a subgroup of underweight girls who proudly flaunt their protruding ribcages and prominent collarbones for peer approval. Then there’s #thighgap, a sect of #thinspo that fixates on the amount of negative space between young women’s thighs. And more recently, there’s “Pretty or Ugly,” the most brutal of the bunch, a depressing genre of YouTube video in which pubescent teenagers expose themselves to the judgment of the masses.
It’s therefore no surprise that China, that hotbed of modern materialism, is getting in on the fun with a beauty-standard trend of its own. On Weibo, the Chinese Twitter-Facebook hybrid, thousands of users, including celebrities, have posted photos of themselves doing what literally translates to the “Beauty and Ugliness Identification Method.” The test, which has no obvious scientific basis, involves placing your index finger against your chin and nose to see if your lips touch it. And if they do, then you’re not exactly the brightest star in the sky. The method is currently trending in over 200,000 Weibo discussions, largely among women. But to be fair, the phenomenon also appears to be mostly in jest. According to this method, Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba, Christina Hendricks would all be considered victims of the ugly stick.
Like thigh gaps and AP calculus, it’s a difficult test to pass, but of course, that’s what Photoshop is for.