#PaperlessAndBeautiful: On The A4 Waist Challenge, and Body Image in the Asian American Community

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I do not have an “A4 Waist,” and I am totally okay with that.

The latest social media trend to take thin-obsessed China by storm is #A4Waist, wherein (predominantly – but not exclusively — female) users post selfies boasting that their waist is so slim that it can be completely obscured by a vertical sheet of A4 paper. The dimensions of A4 paper is 8.3” x 11”, meaning that those who “pass” the A4 Waist Challenge have waists <~17” in diameter.

For those keeping score: In American sizes, this is about 7” smaller than a US size 0.

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Faces of Asian America: Being Bald and Bold | #APAHM2014

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Traci Lee is a producer at MSNBC, and was diagnosed with alopecia — a condition that results in hair loss — as a child.

How do you see yourself as a person with alopecia?

I spent a lot of my life avoiding mirrors. When I first began losing my hair at the age of seven, I thought pretending the problem didn’t exist would make it disappear altogether—or, at least, it would slow down the inevitable process of losing everything. As the hair on my head disappeared in patches, so did my eyebrows and eyelashes, and it became too hard to see anything in my reflection except for what was missing.

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Help As[I]Am publish magazine issue on representation of Asian American bodies!

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As[I]Am is a really phenomenal digital magazine focused on representation of Asian Americans in art and social justice. They are planning an upcoming issue titled “Resistant Bodies” which will focus “on how our bodies are read and interpreted, and how they can be a site for struggle, reflection, and/or transformation.” This issue will include a broad array of relevant topics including “burlesque and body image, environmental sustainability and food justice, presentation of queer femme identity, and the ownership of body and portrayal.”

But, As[I]Am needs your help to make “Resistant Bodies” a reality. They have 5 days left to raise $500, and still have $250 to go. If you have a few dollars lying around, please consider donating to this campaign!

Update: Congratulations to Project As[I]Am for getting their campaign funded!