Social media users in China take on ‘thigh-wrapping’ challenge

Something new to feel bad about! Social media users take on ‘thigh-holding’ challenge as they try to wrap their hands around their legs to see if they are skinny enough

  • Thousands have posted pictures of their attempt on Chinese social media
  • Users try to show that they can form a circle with their hands around their thigh 
  • Trending topic page on Weibo received more than 140 million hits on Thursday
  • Some users are quick to point out that the size of their hands affects the results

A new challenge that claims to test how fit a person is has taken Chinese social media by storm. 

The internet craze has seen thousands of users posting pictures to show whether they can form a circle with their hands around their thigh, with both thumbs and both middle fingers touching. 

While the ‘thigh-holding challenge’ isn’t new, it was recently picked up in China, where it went viral on microblogging site Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. 

The craze has seen thousands of users posting pictures to show whether they can form a circle with their hands around their thigh, with both thumbs and middle fingers touching


While the ‘thigh-holding challenge’ isn’t new, it was recently picked up in China, where it went viral on microblogging site Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter


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On Thursday, the trending topic page titled ‘Can you wrap your hands around your leg?’ received more than 140 million views. 

Thousands of people, including Chinese celebrities Wang Junkai and Hai Ling have taken on the challenge to prove they fit enough.  

The test purportedly shows how skinny a person is, and if he or she can’t overlap their thumbs and middle fingers around their thigh, they might need to lose weight. 

However, some users are quick to point out that it all comes down to the size of the person’s hands.  

Thousands of people, including Chinese celebrities Wang Junkai (pictured) and Hai Ling have taken on the challenge to prove they fit enough


‘I can’t do it – but it’s not because my thigh is fat, it’s because I have small hands!’ one user said, posting a picture showing her friend successfully wrapping her hands around her thigh and another image showing her failing the challenge when she tried it herself

‘I can’t reach my fingers! Does this mean I’m fat?’ a worried user asked on Weibo.

‘I can’t do it – but it’s not because my thigh is fat, it’s because I have small hands!’ one user said, posting a picture showing her friend successfully wrapping her hands around her thigh and another image showing her failing the challenge when she tried it herself.

In 2015, another bizarre so-called fitness challenge went viral in China, where participants try to touch their belly buttons by twisting their arms around their backs.

The original ‘belly button challenge’ post that went viral on Weibo claimed that if a person can complete the challenge, it proves that he/she has a good body figure.

In 2015, another bizarre so-called fitness challenge went viral in China, where participants try to touch their belly buttons by twisting their arms around their backs 

Xie Wei, a fitness instructor from Nanjing, eastern China, who failed the challenge himself, noted the test does not necessarily prove that the person has a super-fit body, but that he/she is either very flexible or has long arms. 

Such trends can emphasise unhealthy body image, other experts previously commenting on the challenge said.

‘Quirky poses and pictures can be fun, but sometimes they also become expressions of competitiveness or insecurity,’ Jolene Tan, programs and communications senior manager at a Singapore NGO focused on women’s rights, told the BBC. 

‘We need to do more to promote acceptance of diversity in women’s bodies,’ she added.

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