The Belly Button Challenge is seriously disturbing. This online trend involves challenging women to see if they can reach their arm behind their backs and touch their belly button. Being able to do this supposedly means you’re skinny.
Since this trend hit Twitter and Instagram it’s received widespread backlash but, unfortunately it’s also been followed by even more disturbing body challenges (see: The Collar Bone Challenge and The Boob Challenge to name a couple). Now nothing against women who can successfully “complete” any of these challenges — just hope you didn’t hurt your arms in the process — but for many/all of us, just seeing these challenges on our feeds promotes weird shame-y beauty standards. Seriously, some of these sound like messed up slumber party dares pre-teens in Judy Blume books give each other (#WeMustIncreaseOurBust). Since we’re sick of seeing ’em, we thought we’d create some new challenges that promote health, silliness and positivity.
1. The Ice Cream Challenge: You know how sometimes when you work hard on something and you finish it you feel kind of empty? For the Ice Cream Challenge treat yo’ t0 something like an ice cream cone every time you complete a major task so you have a tangible reward to remind you how sweet success is.
2. The Get Lost Challenge: Go to a spot in your town or a neighborhood in your city that you’ve never been to before. Walk the length of it. Walk into shops, walk to places to eat and drink, walk to pretty sites. Walk the heck out of that place until you become an expert. The second tier of this challenge is to take a friend with you next time and be their tour guide.
3. The Other Woman Challenge: Challenge yourself to stop seeing women who are different that you as “other.” This girl is skinny but you’re not? Who cares, you guys probably like the same things! This girl has more or less money than you? Fine! This woman wants a different kind of job or lover or life than you? Cool! At the end of the day we’re all here together and it’s hard enough to be a woman in this world without us being shitty amongst ourselves.
4. The Water Challenge: Drinking water is one health trend everyone seems to agree on. It’s good for your skin, good for your insides etc but sometimes it’s really boring. For The Water Challenge you have to find a way to make drinking water fun. Buy a cool new water bottle or throw some fruit in there, whatever it takes to drink up.
5. The Hug Challenge: Take one arm and wrap it around your body. Take the other arm and also wrap it around your body. Close your eyes and squeeze. Breathe in and hug yourself. Take a second to feel grateful that you’re healthy and alive. Hug yourself and think about all the nice things you like about your body and none of the things you don’t. Do this challenge AT LEAST once a week.
6. The Thoughtful Challenge: Take an hour out of your day and go out of your way to find and read things written by people with different opinions than yours. Too often our social media feeds become echo chambers filled with just things we like so it’s important to expose ourselves to all points of view. Reading these things may not change your own opinions but it’s a good way to empathize with people, even those who don’t agree with you. Putting faces and opinions behind big issues will help you form a more well rounded opinion.
7. The TBT Challenge: Look back at old pictures of you from high school or college (like this gem from my prom). Are you thinking “my god, I was so skinny/clear skinner/prettier/more confident then”? Take a second to ask yourself if you felt any of those things then. Chances are you didn’t and felt weird and awkward and were totally unaware of how awesome you really were. Instead of thinking negatively about these pics, zoom out and think of what your ten years older self would think of you now. Realize that currently you’re probably more beautiful than you’re giving yourself credit for, smile, and go about your day with that in mind.
8. The Prank Challenge: Pranks don’t have to be mean to be fun. Try positive pranking for The Prank Challenge. Ding Dong Ditch someone by putting a box of Ding Dong cupcakes on their doorstep and ringing the bell and running. “TP a house” by filling their mailboxes with bags of Tootsie Pops. Put nice notes on peoples’ cars — anything as long as it’s nice and just a little silly.
9. The Real Belly Button Challenge: Get a marker, googly eyes and some other craft supplies. Use them to make a face on your belly with your navel as the mouth. Use your hands to make that face, lip sync your favorite song and Snapchat or DubSmash it to your friends. If that doesn’t make you/them laugh, nothing will.
10. The Giggle Challenge: Grab a buddy or a group of buddies and stand facing each other. Making eye contact, start laughing the biggest, fakest, most obnoxious laughs you can. Really go for it. See how long it takes for genuine laughs to come out and do that until your belly hurts.
Which of these challenges would you most want to try? Tell us in the comments and give us some challenges of your own!