The internet's crazy new measure of beauty

23:27, Jun 09 2014
Finger trap
PROPORTION DISTORTION: Women demonstrate the ridiculous new measure of beauty: the finger trap test.

Over the past few years we've seen some pretty ridiculous and some downright dumb beauty trends that have caused controversy as well as a distorted and often unhealthy view of beauty.

It's tough enough for both men and women these days to keep a healthy sense of self-confidence when we're constantly bombarded with unrealistic, heavily photo-shopped images of what "society" deems as beautiful.

The "thigh gap", a preposterous notion that sent some women running to their plastic surgeons to achieve for what many body shapes is the unachievable, a disproportionate, exaggerated, widened gap between the thighs.

Finger trap
BIZARRE BEAUTY STANDARDS: The 'legs or hot dogs' meme.

Lest we forget "hot dog legs", where it became cool to post selfies of holiday tanning sessions where one was left to ponder if it was indeed a pair of fricasseed frankfurters or just a warped pair of oiled up, over-crisp legs.

The thin-spiring "bikini bridge", yet another vile and vain social media fad that basically let the entire world see everything you didn't have for breakfast as well as sending out a careless message to women that if you didn't have a gap the size of Victoria Falls between your hip bones when donning a bikini you were not cool, pretty or skinny enough.

And so it continues - this time with a fad that hits you square in the face and has caused a social media frenzy in China.


Finger trap
BIZARRE BEAUTY STANDARDS: The bikini bridge... where a woman's hip bones protrude sharply enough to create an over-tummy span of stretchy fabric.

The "finger trap test", a simple test using one's finger that determines if you're a hottie or nottie.

To find out if you've struck the genetic jackpot, simply place your index finger against your nose and chin. If your finger touches your lips, congratulations - you're a stunner!

This absurd trend exploded on Weibo (China's version of Facebook), thanks to a Japanese meme replicated in a selfie by Chinese actress Xinyi Zhang, who told her fans she didn't pass the test and inspired her followers to take their own test.

So where did this bizarre trend come from? It's adapted from the 1950s and the work of orthodontist Dr Robert Ricketts and his theory of the relationship between the nose, lips and chin from a profile perspective.

Dr Ricketts became concerned that in the name of occlusion and alignment, orthodontists in the '50s were actually making the aesthetic appearance of some patients worse by not paying attention to what he called the "Esthetic plane" or "E Plane".

The "E Plane" is just a line drawn from the tip of the nose to the tip of the chin to see how the upper and lower lip related to the line.

So what started out as a cautionary rule of thumb to help prevent people from looking like Mr Ed in the '50s on a theory loosely based on the 3:1 Rule or "Golden Ratio" (the ancient Greeks used to measure beauty) has somehow now become a global measure in 2014 as to whether or not you fell from the ugly tree.

Are there flaws in this method... duh! First, it doesn't take a Rhodes scholar to figure out if you change the angle of your head, or just happen to have a wonky finger the results change.

And if we were to use some of the women society considers as the world's most beautiful as a litmus test to this ludicrous theory then we might have to have a rethink.

While People magazine's 2014 most beautiful winner Lupita Nyong'o, Audrey Hepburn and Beyonce all pass the finger trap test, the once world's sexiest woman JLaw, the maleficent Angelina Jolie, super model Kate Moss, Victoria's Secret glamour Gisele and our favourite royal since Lady Di, the gorgeous Duchess of Cambridge all failed the test epically. See the passes and fails here.

Could this be the death of the trout pout, or just a prelude to yet another ridiculous fad to fire further insecurities when it comes to the way we define beauty?

Till then, are you game to give yourself the finger?

Sydney Morning Herald